The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn, Chapter Six: The Autoscribe

Written by Diana Grisanti and Steve Moulds

Directed by Amy Attaway

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright 2013 by Keith Waits, all rights reserved.

Steve Moulds and Diana Grisanti are tricky. Chapter Five ended as something of a cliffhanger for our winsome young heroine, Bonnie Burke, as she appeared to be sucked actually into Ludlow Quinn’s magic book. Expectations were that we might pick up at exactly this point and follow Bonnie’s fate. Instead, we are swept back to a century before and some quality time with Ludlow and Millie. Worthwhile, but unexpected.

The change-up occurs at a point when the story has determinedly taken up focus on Bonnie, with the last two chapters bringing vital character development for her. But the shift is a not unwelcome surprise. Ludlow has been largely absent here in the middle sections, and I kind of missed him; and the scenes with Millie (the stranger of the title and Bonnie’s grandmother) explore essential secrets of the book and how it functions. Ludlow is less the author and more an unwilling participant with an autoscribe, a magical volume that records thoughts and experiences through a psychic connection. The exact parameters of its power remain uncertain, but the more we learn about the book, the more anything seems possible, including new possibilities about Ludlow’s fate.

The night before Chapter Six premiered, Theatre [502] hosted a Halloween reading of the first five chapters that proved to be a useful refresher course and even featured a few new bits and pieces. It was fun and perhaps gave a small glimpse of how the story will play in a single evening, a climactic event scheduled for April of next year.

At the halfway point, the quality of the production remains constant, and the rewards only grow deeper. The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn remains a ride worth catching, at whatever leg of the journey it happens to be.

New chapters are scheduled to arrive on First Fridays each month through April 2014, performed at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn, Chapter Six: The Autoscribe

November 1, 2013

Theatre [502]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      at The Baron’s Theatre                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               131 West Main Street                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Louisville, KY 40202