Apr 6, 2012

A RASPBERRY FIZZ review that almost slipped by...

Raspberry Fizz
by Christopher David Taylor ~ March 5, 2012 ~ Stage Directions Blog

Raspberry Fizz, by Brad McEntire and directed by Andy Baldwin (who opened Lord of the Flies at Level Ground Arts on the same night) is a delightful piece of theatre, expertly acted by Jeff Swearingen, Natalie Young and Shane Beeson.

The piece tells the story of a young boy and girl on the cusp of teen-hood, the boy wanting to ask the girl to a harvest dance. The Carnival Barker is there to create a sense of mystery and he continually recites a mantra designed to capture the interest of the young boy. Swearingen as Ellson hits all the right physical notes with his character; one would hardly believe he wasn’t a child based on his physicality. Young as Samantha is pitch perfect in her flat, midwestern accent that reminded me of something out of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. Beeson’s Barker was a little more challenging. At times his patter came across as forced but it didn’t detract from the overall performance. The final moment of the piece, Swearingen and Young dancing slowly, was a nice end to the evening. Tension built up and released by the slightly childish dancing on the part of the two actors.

What was interesting for me in the double bill was the difference in the age of the performers. Grayman is made up of University students and Audacity Theatre Lab’s cast is decidedly not but the two groups in the same space within the same time frame created two distinctly different but complimentary pieces of theatre. Searching for love and purpose, belonging and a cold raspberry fizz.

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