Agency Theater Collective and End of the Line Co-Present INTERNATIONAL FALLS Review – the inside view on a one-night stand between a standup comic and a would-be comic.
Dee is a hotel desk clerk (think old Holiday Inn) and aspiring comic who finds herself in bed with Tim, a burned-out comic making a stop in International Falls, MN. Inter-cutting between their one-night stand and Tim’s standup act, their philosophical discussion finds the comedy in life and the tragedy of comedy.
Marie plots their encounter from the time she flirts with Sean as she checks him in. For Sean, she is a blank face who wants to give him a hand-job, but really wants to get into his mind. She wants to be a comic.
As the one-act play progresses, Dee becomes sharper, more comic, and Tim becomes flat. In his final comedy episode, he isn’t at all funny. He is sad, distracted, depressed. Dee grows stronger from their encounter. She will have the strength to leave her cheating husband. Tim feels the fruitlessness of 16 years working in third-rate clubs, his marriage, his life.
Marie Weigle and Sean Higgins are well cast, in this writer’s view, carrying the emotional burden of INTERNATIONAL FALLS effortlessly. The costume design is spot on (Costume Designer: ) helping to set the story up. She is dressed a la the upper Midwest in winter—sleeveless party dress, leggings, wool sox, waterproof boots and a parka. Sean is classic prep—ironed button-down blue oxford shirt, plaid boxer shorts (this takes place in a bedroom), clean shaven head and face.
Unfortunately, for this reviewer, the Nox Arca Theatre is not accommodating to the performance. As you want and expect in such a small venue (50 attendees max), the performers are not mic’d. But they did not project and were drowned out by the large window air conditioner in the rear. Chairs are set on the floor and on small platforms. The site angles are okay for the upstage bed scenes, but for those down stage, you often saw nothing without physical gyrations.
Be advised: INTERNATIONAL FALLS contains strong language.
Editor’s Note: This reviewer also reports a safety issue in terms of audience seating, noting the instability of chair platforms appears as an accident waiting to happen.
Written by Thomas Ward
Directed by Cody Lucas
Asst. Director/Stage Manager: Teryl Thurman
Lighting Designer: Ellie Humphreys
Sound Design: Cody Lucas
Scenic Design: Soli Eisenberg
Photography: Katie Reynolds
Through August 30, 2019
Thursday - Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 2:00pm.
Industry performance 8/19 and an additional general performance on 8/28 at 8pm.
Nox Arca Theatre
4001 N Ravenswood Ave #405
Reviewer Ann Boland is committed to Chicago theater. Involved in the audience since the early 80’s, she’s witnessed firsthand the rise of our theater scene, our exceptional local talent, and the vigor of each new generation. Ann handles public relations for authors and works on programs to help seniors with neurological movement disorders. Please visit her website for more information.
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