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Nostalgium

theatre · thirty90ne · Ages 14+ · world premiere · United States

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WILLIAM GOLDMAN certified reviewer June 10, 2012
This is a smart, must-see play. It grabs you and does not let go. Full of surprises. This play takes you to places you may not want to go.... full review
ANONYMOUS certified reviewer June 10, 2012
While the script is interesting, the performance of it is ponderous and slow. The actors are truthful, but the pacing was just too slow. The fog and burning sage, while creating a wonderful atmosphere, quickly overwhelm the small enclosed theatre space. ... full review
LEE BIERMAN certified reviewer June 19, 2012
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am good friends with both nostalgium's writer, Matthew Benyo, and director, Alex Scott. I was also privileged enough to witness a workshop performance of this piece several years ago at the University of Iowa. Nostalgium is a beautifully written psychedelic exploration of self-identity and the dangers of living in the past. The words are poetic, and the picture grandiose. The piece forces the audience to examine the meaning of life through a drug-induced kaleidoscope of thoughts and feelings, and times past and present. Set entirely in the cluttered apartment of one of the characters, Nostalgium plays upon the conventional writing idea that static location and lineal time is a natural tension builder. Forcing an audienc... full review
MEREDITH SIMONDS certified reviewer June 22, 2012
I found this to be a beautifully engaging piece, provocative and patient in its telling - in the writing, acting and direction. That said, there is room for trimming a good ten minutes from the middle, as it felt like it ran a little long, especially with (appropriately so) no intermission. I had the good fortune of sitting right on stage tonight, up close and personal, so mine was an especially intimate experience. I was struck by the obvious commitment and care that the cast, Tracy Dillon and Luke Scroggins, brought to their roles...the conviction of director Alexander Thomas Scott to keep it simple stupid...and the depths to which writer Matt Benyo went to bring forth such a poetic piece. This is a must-see, and a Fringe fave for me.... full review
BILL RATNER certified reviewer June 22, 2012
For me the evening at Nostalgium was about the truly lovely acting by Tracy Dillon as Sandra. Director/Producer Alex Scott coaxed a riveting performance out of Dillon. Reminding me of a young and very pretty Ellen Barkin, Dillon, with her acute sadness and yearning, takes us deep into an actual and not-well-known world - a sadly real subculture of people who wish to live as amputees - some of whom succeed through mortifyingly horrific means. Matthew Benyo's play goes a number of places, but the most interesting one is into the disturbing world of body dysmorphia. There is a lot that is unclear on this 90 minute two-person journey, the obscurity aided by the effects on the characters of a bong-with-a-goldfish. There are drugs, both soft and h... full review
ANONYMOUS certified reviewer June 22, 2012
I saw Nostalgium (starring Luke Scroggins and Tracy Dillon) last evening. It was wonderful! Very suspenseful with a well thought out foretelling/seed planting of what may happen but what is totally beyond thought at the point of introduction. There are amusing moments as evidenced by many responses of laughter by the audience. Both actors were creative in development of their characters. Tracy's role as Sandra is developed and expressed through her artful facial/body expressions as well as her lines. You come to know her first as the play evolves; however, the focus intensely turns to Luke as the obvious comes to light (can't go into detail without ruining the suspense). Luke skillfully interacts with the audience throughout the play as ... full review
JOE LUIS CEDILLO certified reviewer June 23, 2012
NOSTALGIUM is an interesting two-hander with potential that has some very strong moments that comes from both Matt Benyo's writing and Tracy Dillon's performance. There are lines that really resonated with me and some of the text relating to the Bible was particularly brilliant. If you enjoy heady fare with lofty ideas this will largely appeal to you. It is genre-bending with the thrust of the piece starting off like a "Stoner comedy" before switching over to more of a mystery that has a very unexpected turn at the end. This is not a play for the faint of heart. It does demand that you stay engaged with it and the intention of the final moments may be unsettling to some. Tracy Dillon gives a very dynamic portrayal to her characte... full review
KATHY TURNER certified reviewer June 25, 2012
I walked out of Nostalgium saying only one word..."Twisted." My friend and I discussed it on the way home, I told three people about it the next day at work, and I was still describing it to friends this past weekend (both Saturday and Sunday)...Obviously this is a very twisted and yet thought-provoking play and I'm STILL thinking about it. Had I not just seen an episode of National Geographic Channel's "Taboo" about body dysmorphia I would have thought this a complete work of fiction, but knowing that this subculture does exist - I still say, definitely twisted, very interesting, well performed, and the ending left me shocked and STILL thinking about it. This is one I'd even see again and that doesn't happen very often for me. ... full review
GREG MACHLIN certified reviewer June 15, 2012
A disturbing and necessary piece that builds to a shocking conclusion, Matt Benyo's "Nostalgium" explores one late-night meeting between Sandra, a former addict with a troubled past (well played by Tracy Dillon), and Luke (Luke Scroggins), a young poet. Sandra's clearly bothered by something, and while Luke's a good listener, his real passion is for discussing religion, poetry, and his idea for a mix between nostalgia and delirium. As the evening goes on, Sandra reveals a series of increasingly dark secrets involving her father, and her own desire to change her body [deliberately being vague to avoid spoilers]. "Nostalgium" is well and ably directed by Alex Scott, whose careful production makes the most of a bare-bones budget and shows o... full review
JONATHAN ROUMIE certified reviewer June 16, 2012
This is a well-staged character piece that touches on a number of large themes filled with moments of truth and humor. Director Alex Scott has a fantastic sense of making the absurd seem completely relate-able and grounded. Well done! ... full review
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