Blizzard of ‘92
By Rachel White
Directed by Brian Hinds
Review by Cristina Martin
Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Cristina Martin. All rights reserved.
Louisville’s 2014 Slant Culture Theatre Festival, located at Walden Theatre, offers up an impressive admixture of playful experiments yielding dramatic results, as the program announces. Tilt a test tube filled with an organic solution, and you’ll get a larger surface area on which something new can grow. This is a “slant culture.” Borrowing the term from biology lab, the festival’s third annual iteration aims to create a favorable environment for the germination of ideas and art. Five producing companies and multiple guests create an exciting variety of theatre, music, poetry, storytelling, and visual art.
Marrow Street Theater presents Blizzard of ’92, a gently melancholy succession of tableaux that portray multiple generations of a family from the early part of the 20th century through the 1990s. Might it even be 1892 through 1992, given the title? That’s a stretch, given what we can gather about the various time periods and ages of characters portrayed, but it’s possible. Rachel White does an artful job of weaving haunting motifs into the script that seem to waft through the one-act drama, highlighting both sameness and change over time. Whether included in the script or a directorial call on the part of Brian Hinds, the recurring musical theme is both effective and affecting.
Seven actors (including Ms. White and Mr. Hinds) portray a total of 13 characters; each plays two with the exception of Hallie Kirk Dizdarevic, who ably depicts character Mary from childhood through adulthood and into old age. Opening night jitters were in evidence at the beginning of Blizzard of ’92, but they soon lessened. Brian Hinds modulates his rich voice and body language artfully as the decades pass and he transitions from Joe to Jim. The play is not without its funny lines, which Sabrina Spalding (Mag/Hallie) seems especially gifted in delivering with relish.
Actor bios in the program would have been nice, but perhaps they were deliberately left out, either because of space constraints or to draw focus away from the fact that the actors are anything other than the characters before us. All in all, Marrow Street’s ensemble fills Walden Theatre’s intimate second-floor AltSpace with an appealingly wistful work from a promising young playwright.
Blizzard of ’92
Friday, November 14 – 7:30 pm
Friday, November 21 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 22 – 4:00 pm
Part of the Slant Culture Theatre Festival
1123 Payne Street
Louisville, KY 40204
A lover of the arts in every form, Cristina Martin has a background in theatre, dance, and classical music. A native of Chicago, she currently lives in Louisville with her husband, three active young boys, two rambunctious dogs and a cat as old as the hills.