Just how will these families fare?
‘Orphans’ at The Edge
I’ve come to expect excellent theater when I see a production from The Edge Theatre Company. I recently saw the current play “The Orphans” and was not disappointed. Though there did seem to be some blanks in the story that one had to fill, all in all it was an intriguing story of two orphaned young men who are trying to make their way in the world without any help. Treat (Jack Wefso) the older brother, is left with the responsibility of taking care of his slightly younger and developmentally disabled brother Phillip (Christian Mast). Stealing is Treat’s livelihood, but he decides to up the ante by kidnapping Harold (Rick Yaconis) a member of the mob, and holding him for ransom.
The unsophisticated brothers try to hog-tie Harold. When Treat leaves the house, Harold quickly extricates himself from the flimsy ropes much to Phillip’s dismay. Phillip lives in fear of Treat who controls him by physical punishment and endless taunting. Harold and Phillip develop a close bond and the older man becomes Phillip’s protector.
The acting is superb. Director Rob Kramer’s tough-love method worked very well. The intensity of the interactions of the three characters is spellbinding. Rick Yaconis nails the role of a benevolent dictator while Jack Wefso earns kudos as the emotionally walled off caretaker. Christian Mast once again manages to go perilously close to parody without falling off the cliff. His grip on the reins is masterful.
“The Orphans” runs through Feb. 9 at 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood. For tickets and info, call 303-232-0363 or visit the website at .
‘Black Odyssey’ world premiere
It’s difficult to know how to describe this fascinating play. Though it’s not billed as a musical, there is, in fact, a fair amount of gorgeous music. Based on Homer’s ancient classic “The Odyssey,” this modern day version is set in Harlem and our hero Ulysses Lincoln is a sailor who is lost at sea. The gods, from time to time, descend from the heavens to work their ways in Harlem, taking the forms of mere mortals and interjecting themselves into the lives of their current descendants.
The play begins and ends with a chess match which is the perfect metaphor for the storyline. Ulysses finds himself cast away and having to discover the intricacies of his own mind in order to make his way back home to his wife and the son he has never seen.
You might just want to take your Dramamine if you are inclined towards being seasick. The lighting effects are stunning as is the entire set. The Denver Center Theatre Company’s production runs through Feb. 16 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and is well worth the trip to the city. For tickets and information call 303-893-4100 or visit their website at .