“The Aliens,” by Obie Award-winning 31-year-old writer Annie Baker, is a play that insists on silence. New York Times critic Charles Isherwood invokes Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” as a comparison, for the parallel between the two plays of seemingly random, yet playfully intellectual camaraderie between two individuals which tests the theatrical conventions of story.
Baker has a good ear for the dialogue of her generation, and a good eye for its Lost Boys, floundering Peter Pans whose IQs hold out the promise that their disconnectedness fails to produce. Bring your curiosity to this FSU/Asolo Conservatory production and be prepared to tune into your freshman year in college, a place where two 30-year-olds seem frozen in inner time and a world in which a 17-year-old is about to enter.
Set behind a coffee house in small-town Vermont, the lads lounge uninvited on a picnic table surrounded by garbage bins and dying plants. The stark realism of the play creates an exceptionally demanding showcase for sheer acting talent, which, on the whole, the student trio delivers admirably.
Benjamin Williamson as K.J., a college dropout from an advanced calculus program, whose implied schizophrenia (think “A Brilliant Mind”) is controlled by meds and cocaine, is fascinating to watch. Williamson’s total commitment to his character results in an endearing, memorable performance. His long-time friend, Jasper, played with intensity by Brian Nemiroff, is a disadvantaged youth, still struggling to relate to women and to find his place in life. Zlatomir Moldovanski assumes the part of Evan, a nerdish virgin and high school freshman, with openness and believability. A shocking turning point in the second act brings all of these characters into greater focus and clearer intent.
Brendon Fox, guest assistant professor at the Conservatory, who has a long list of credits, including L.A. Theatre Works, NPR, and San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, thoughtfully directs the play. Set and lighting design is by Chris McVicker; costume design is by Whitley Stevens Floyd; and the music director is Don Bryn.
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4 10th Anniversary Perlman Gala Concert
Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.