Rochester, 1996

immersive theatre capital w / drycraeft los angeles · Ages 16+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by LAUREN BELLO

June 19, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

- The actors. I would have watched a show starring any one of those vivid characters – they all could have broken my heart. (Well, except “Joseph”.) - The script. I believed this church and I believed this family. The authenticity of some of the interactions made me deeply uncomfortable in the best way. - The pacing. I’m not sure quite how to phrase this without spoilers, but there are certain life events that don’t happen at the drop of a hat; they have taken a lifetime to get to that point, and it takes a perfect storm of emotional buildup/freedom from distraction/earned vulnerability/heightened circumstances for those events to take place. This show nailed that, and that wouldn’t be possible without its pacing. Every single moment felt earned. - The theme. A Tolstoy-esque tapestry of longing.

What I didn't like

I think the only moment that felt out of place was the very first scene. While I can see that the table-setting was needed, tonally it felt just a bit out of tune with the rest of the show. But this was incredibly minor.

Honestly, I left this show feeling like I’ve been wasting my life with half the immersive theater I’ve done. The bar truly was raised.

My overall impression

This show raised the bar for me. Two days later, I’m still unpacking the feelings, memories, and impressions the show brought to the surface. A complex yet surgically precise depiction of a family whose appearance of peace masks inner turmoil.

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