Moving Through "Shadow and Light"

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Well, David in Shadow and Light is well into the second week of its run and has, unfortunately, been universally clobbered by the critics. I’m one of those actors who reads reviews, and while I haven’t taken any personal hits (not yet, anyway), it’s still distressing. The good folks at Theatre J are in a state of shock; it’s hard when you’ve lavished time and money (not to mention love) on a project like this, only to have it blow up in your face. God love them for not pointing fingers or trying to assign blame, but for simply picking themselves off the floor and soldiering on.

I was talking to fellow cast member Larry Redmond backstage last night, and he remarked that he admired everyone in the cast for their dogged commitment to doing the show they were directed to do. At first I was touched and a little amused, but then I started thinking: is “dogged” really the best I can do with my performance? Yes, the show has flaws and I have been troubled throughout the process by the particular flaws of my character’s track (I play the Angel Metatron). But “dogged?” I think I can do better than that.

So my goal for the rest of the show is to keep searching and trying. I don’t think the show is the complete write-off that some critics have painted; it has beauty and creativity and sincerity. Audience members cry at the end of the show, and I don’t think it’s because they’re just a bunch of saps. It’s because David’s story is both heartbreaking and uplifting.

I’m urging you to look carefully at the ad above. Movie tickets cost about what Theatre J is charging, and for that money you get LIVE THEATRE. You’re supporting a non-profit performing arts company that has the courage to put its heart and soul into something new. You’ll be seeing a cast of terrific DC-based performers. You’ll hear music that’s a fusion of styles, performed by a kick-ass band.

So I’m challenging you to give the Indiana Jones film a miss this week. Go to Theatre J instead. See the show and make up your own mind. Indy will still be there next week. David only runs through June 22nd.

Personally, I promise you better than “dogged.” A lot better.

One comment

  1. Gerry

    Attagirl, that’s why we admire you so much. A true artist speaking. Not to embarrass you, but some of your fans might not otherwise know that there have been raves from audience members. For the record, excerpts from a couple that, among other things, speak to the quality of the cast: (1) I was absolutely blown away . . . From the first mesmerizing moment . . . with fabulous arresting use of light, shadows, brilliant choreography and staging . . . To the fabulous vocal and acting talent of the cast to the gorgeous costumes and use of technique, to the thrilling musical expertise. This is a MUST SEE! . . . an awesome experience.(2) . . . a magnificent show! The writing was clever and brilliant. The score was so elegant and artfully performed. The cast . . . well let me tell you about the cast . . . I can still see the faces of every one of the performers. Each of them so beautifully filled their part(s). And then . . . they started singing! Oh my God! The harmonies were exhilarating. And then they danced! I felt cheated that I had only one curtain call to clap for them.

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