Mission To Mate

theatre · sati productions/colin mitchell · Ages 15+ · United States

world premiere
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June 20, 2012 certified reviewer

My overall impression

I’m not sure what this feeling is. Self-affirmation? Satisfaction? The peculiar opposite of paranoia, a pastorale equilibrium of “everything in its place?”
I’m talking about the feeling of a celebrated iconoclast executing a precise and articulate demonstration of personal aesthetic. Placing the money where the mouth is. Or perhaps chips on a table? I’m rotten at metaphor.
Colin Mitchell refuses to disappoint with a trilogy of scenes performed by two actors playing two agents who wear six different masks between them.
Before breaking into choreographed transitions between pieces, I saw the null “agents” represented by the actors don a new personality “mask” thematically familiar to the agent, yet a distinct character for each of the three scenes. For me, the payoff was the fluidity of this transition and the peculiar geometry of the character in relation to its agent, in harmony to the value of the other character and agent. The piece is variations on a theme, meditations on a notion – a neophyte to the doctrine of feeling endures his matriculation at the hands of an experienced pastor. The titular “Mission to Mate” is literally played out in the third piece, but the metaphor of a virgin missionary deployed to the sexual jungle to bring the good word to the natives is explored in all three scenes, guided by the power of Alla Poberesky’s voice.
She has the curious power, with every spoken word, to cause physical effects. Yearning, firm certainty of a soul freshly bereaved of innocence tugs sympathetic tears. A roar of frustration at a ham-fisted contrivance impacts the chest. A splendidly affected purr of an accent teases only most inappropriately. In short, I’m looking forward to her 2013 Fringe solo piece, wherein she will read – unaccompanied – the entirety of the North Hollywood phone book.
I consider this piece “the perfect Fringe show.” It’s too short to warrant a full production, but too long to stand alongside any other piece. In short, a satisfying slice of three not-so-different flavors of feeling, frosted in a a playful almost-self-awareness, presented ala mode with a coffee. Treat yourself.

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