With My Eyes Shut

cruthaigh productions · Ages 12+ · United States of America

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June 09, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

Star-making performances by the cast, along with an incredibly smart script by Kira Rockwell leave a lasting impression long after you leave the theater. Too often, works about autism come off as one-note or pitying. With My Eyes Shut gives a realistic look at a condition which isn’t the one-size-fits-all we see on TV and movies. Craig Shields gives a magnificent performance as a man who can play every instrument (and gives a pretty great demonstration of it) and Esther Mira is mesmerizing as his romantic partner, whose dancing has an ethereal grace. While Olivia Schlueter-Cory doesn’t get as much time onstage, she damn well makes the most of what she has. This is a play which couldn’t have worked without the skilled direction of Tara Donovan. Pacing was crucial and the temptation to go maudlin would have sunk many other directors. But she pulled together a production which can only be described as sublime. Special kudos go to Holly Baker-Kreiswirth’s sound design and Gregory Crafts’ lighting design, which combined to serve as a fourth character in the play. Go see this production.

What I didn't like

I wish it had been longer. And I never say that about any play.

My overall impression

A thoroughly original production about autism, with plenty of laughs and a great deal of heart.

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