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“Blind Spots” is Full of Them

By Ernest Kearney  —  Blind Spots by Colette Freedman is political, witty and confounding.

Gretchen Baxter (Veronica Wylie) is a liberal journalist who lives with Birdy (Koni McCurdy), — her ʹ60s, “Peace Corps” mother— is having an affair with her young, student intern Janna (Tamara Burgess), and is slowly losing her eyesight.

Freedman pumps in the conflict by having Kate (Lindsay McGee) Birdy’s other daughter, who is a conservative college president, issue a ban against gay marriage and threaten to expose Gretchen’s lesbian relationship with Janna and her encroaching blindness, which would lead to her losing a recent offer of a newspaper job.

Playwright, Colette Freedman

Just to be on the safe side, Freedman tosses in Birdy’s decision to recreate a ritual, in which she participated while in Africa, where the entire village would gather to partake of a local brew knowing that one of the drinks was a deadly poison.

Now, exactly what Freedman is getting at here is beyond me, and I’m afraid that director Constance Dalton-Pawle doesn’t help, any, in clarifying it.

The relationship between the two sisters, apparently never very healthy, turns downright deadly when Kate menaces Janna, resulting in a perplexing and murderous finale.

Freedman is playing, it seems, with the political tensions of the day, and the “blind spots” liberals and conservatives suffer from in regard to the logic upon which the opposition operates.

Undoubtedly, there is a point that Freedman is making, unfortunately, for me it came across as slightly less convoluted than an octopus in bondage.

Be that as it may, there are some excellent performances here.  Wylie who was so memorable in last year’s Two Motherf**kers on a Ledge *  * shows her remarkable finesse in tackling difficult roles.  McCurdy instills sincerity into the mother who comes across as having gone off her meds.  McGee manages a subtlety in her character that saves it from plunging into the abyss of caricature, and Michelle Pedersen is excellent as Frieda; a character I can see absolutely no justification in having in the play.Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

Freedman has written a very funny play, but, as far as I can fathom, a thematically futile one.

If it were not for the excellent performances, this wouldn’t be a GOLD MEDAL.

 

 * And yes, I still think it’s a horrible title.

 

♦     ♦    ♦

 

Blind Spots by Colette Freedman

Playing During

The Hollywood Fringe 2018

At

Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre

5636 Melrose Ave

For Show Information and  Tickets Go To:   http://hff18.org/5211


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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. After a wild and misspent youth, which lasted well into middle age, Kearney has settled down and is focusing on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. Ernest’s stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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