True long lasting friendships are one of the greatest joys a person can have. Going through life with a core group of soul mates makes the journey all the more fulfilling. When one friend succeeds the other friends, if true, go on that ride with the other. If a friend is sick, the others come to heal. Great media examples are the girls from Sex in the City and the boys from Entourage. Even in the world of entertainment, you can see the journey true friendship takes.
In Vitalist Theater’s Midwest premiere of pool (no water), this notion of friendship is tested to the max. British playwright Mark Ravenhill’s 2006 piece shows how the old deadly sin of jealousy can ravage long-term friendships. pool (no water) explores the kinship of a group of artists, one of whom hits the big time and also hits the bottom of her unfilled pool, head first. As her “friends” visit her comatose body in the hospital, the ugly truth reveals itself in the most inhumane of ways.
Initially conceived as a monologue, pool (no water) has been reworked into a four-person pseudo performance art piece which has great moments of genius. However, under Liz Carlin Metz’s direction, the cast spends most of their time expending bizarre dance/movement breaks, that does nothing but detract from the intriguing story. Yes, we get it that this piece is derived from the Young Actors movement, but this cast certainly does not qualify as young; and for the most part, are too mature to be credible with their actions, both emotional and physical. That coupled with accents that come and go, and we are left with something with great potential in its uniqueness but failure in its execution.
pool (no water) continues through September 30th at Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln St. (map), performances continue Thursdays-Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 3pm. (Running time: 80 minutes, no intermission) Tickets are $25 and available through the Greenhouse Box Office 773.404.7336 or by visiting www.greenhousetheater.org More information at VitalistTheatre.org.
The Ensemble: Antonio Brunetti, Kathleen Donoghue Todd Michael Kiech Meghan Reardon Anne Sheridan Smith
Set Design: Courtney O’Neill Lighting Design: Richard Norwood Video Design; Michael Stanfill Sound Design: Gregor Mortis Costume Design: Allison Smith