Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kansas City or Along the Way (CSV Milagro)

BOTTOM LINE: romantic, artsy, well-executed
A love story told through different narrative structures with just a two person cast. It includes original music (but not enough of it) and lovely performances.

Kansas City of Along the Way takes place in Ohio during the Great Depression. It essentially tells the story of Louise (Rebecca Benhayon) and Joseph (Adam Groves) meeting and falling in love. In the first half of the prodution, Louise and Joseph simply tell their stories past-tense, out to the audience. In the second half, we see them meet for the first time (presumably present tense) and play out their chance encounter, though we know from their previous monologues how their story eventually ends. The writing is almost poetic in its language and the performances are refined and passionate...these components make the monologues quite compelling.

Kansas City says it's set to a Woodie Guthrie-inspired folk music soundtrack. The music is really incredible...Groves plays three songs on acoustic guitar throughout the play. But for my money, three incredible songs are just a tease. Every time Groves walked toward the guitar I was hoping he'd pick it up and play some more.

I really enjoyed this play and I'm impressed with the caliber of talent involved with it. From the direction to the acting to the design, it's was an all-around enjoyable experience.

Kansas City or Along the Way plays at the Milagro Theatre at CSV Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St. between Rivington and Delancey. Show times: Sunday, August 17th at 12:30pm; Monday, August 18th at 7:45pm; Thursday, August 21st at 3:15pm; Saturday, August 23rd at 9:45pm. Visit for more info and to purchase tickets.

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