Every Brilliant Thing (review)

Every Brilliant Thing (review)
Every Brilliant Thing (review)
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THE PLAY: A man looks back at his life and his efforts to cope with his mother’s depression and suicide attempts by creating a list of positive things in the world.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This is billed as a one-man show, but the audience interaction acts as part of the cast. They enumerate the “brilliant things” and even play characters. As a matter of fact, the constant back and forth (although providing some of the best comic moments) hinders dramatic momentum. The actor just recounts the events and doesn’t assume characters or experience the emotions…until the final few minutes, when the interaction stops and he finally deals with his own demons. Chris Hester is the most genuine he’s ever been on stage. He’s engaging and comfortable with the audience and when it’s time to bring it home, he creates a heartfelt mood. Director Frank Foster has placed the show in the round and kept Hester constantly navigating the room. He’s brought out Hester’s natural charm, but kept him authentic. Foster also designed the space, which has been re-arranged like a big, comfy living room with rugs, lamps and chairs. Running time: 1:05

 

THE POINT: Chris Hester’s affable audience interaction and sincere performance brings humanity to what’s essentially a palatable exploration of depression and suicide.

 

(4 / 5)

 

At HATTheatre thru 3/15

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

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