|Becca Willenbrink in The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn
Chapter Two: Bonnie Finds A Book. Photo – Theatre 502.
Written by Diane Grisanti and Steve Moulds
Directed by Gil Reyes
By Keith Waits
Entire contents copyright 2013 by Keith Waits, all rights reserved.
In its second chapter, The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn resides in the modern day, where Chapter One so intriguingly deposited us after a visit to Louisville in the early days of the 20th century. After a brief silent-film pastiche synopsis cleverly brings us up-to-date with wit and economy, the plot now concerns itself with a teenage girl (Becca Willenbrink) who has come into possession of an aged leather-bound volume written by the mysterious Ludlow Quinn. Her friend (Lexi Drexelius) is infatuated with a colorful Canadian fine art academic (Geoff Barnes), whom she hopes to impress with a sculpture that, when unveiled, spookily recreates an image from the book…even though she has never laid eyes on it.
Incredibly, more happens in the scant 15 minutes that comprises this episode, and that synopsis threatens to reveal too much. The script continues to find the necessary balance between style and substance that keeps this theatrical stunt afloat, pulling you back for more. There is magic still, and the mystery only deepens, with no answers yet offered. Yet the move to a contemporary setting only gives the story new context instead of shifting the tone. Ludlow Quinn is still with us, and the notion of a magic book connecting the different time periods seems a suitable device, rich with possibility and resonance. A book can be many things, including a conductor of supernatural powers, and the Twilight Zone quality to this installment makes The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn even more irresistible.
New chapters are scheduled to arrive on First Fridays each month, performed at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is free.
The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn, Chapter Two: Bonnie Burke Finds A Book
July 5, 2013
at The Baron’s Theatre
131 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202