Luna Noctiluca

ensemble theatre · concupiscence productions · Ages 16+ · includes nudity · world premiere · United States

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Review by AARON FRANCIS
June 24, 2013 certified reviewer

My overall impression

I have given this show a positive review. But for one reason and one reason only: Kelsie Noel Hill. Kelsie play The Woman, a modern woman who plays in a story that plays concurrently with the other story in this play which is Salome’s. I’ll get to that trainwreck in a minute, but Kelsie’s woman is captivating, taking lessons from Salome and explaining them in a modern context and she has many parts to play as if she’s at times embodying every woman ever, she whispers into the ears of the other cast, making them do things they wouldn’t normally do to explain some of the ridiculous actions that take place in the classic storyline. For me this show is about Kelsie Noel Hill, she is far and away the best actor on the stage, she knows what she’s saying, she is a wonderful actor and singer and an amazing physical presence. It’s hard to look away from her. In fact, I often times throughout the play wondered why this wasn’t a one woman show. Nobody else comes close to her level of talent and commitment. Nobody has her stage presence.
I realize that these are all kids trying new things, and their goal is to be commended. But none of the other cast is a strong enough actor to even inhabit their characters. Especially lacking is Lissa Alvarado as Salome. This is a woman that is supposed to have such a powerful sexuality and charm that a king would give her anything she wants. And this Salome was anything but sexy. She looks unhappy and timid and afraid the entire show. Just bad casting. When she finally does do her dance of the seven veils, it is the opposite of erotic or titillating in any way, she looked so uncomfortable that I wanted to put her clothes back on. The end of the dance she removes her top, but because the actor was so modest, her back was to the audience and she had to have a dresser cover her up right away. That’s not the raw power of sex that would make a man throw away everything he owns and holds dear. It was just uncomfortable. Nobody in the Salome cast believed what they were doing or understood what they were saying, and it made me not care.
Brooke Silva who wrote and directed this piece has a great idea here, but I feel like she may be limited by the pool of actors she is swimming in the pool with. I would look out for Brooke in the future, to see what she could do with a talented group of actors that fully delve into their characters the way that Kelsie dove into The Woman.

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