Archikulture Digest

I and You

I and You

By Lauren Gunderson

Directed by Aradhana Tiwari

With Karleigh Chase and Mike Mitchell Jr.

Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando FL</strong>

Life is unfair. You’re pining away with liver failure and few hopes for the future, and the damn system still wants you to produce a display board on Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” That’s Caroline’s’ (Chase’s) view, but school mate Anthony (Mitchell) insists on getting her help. She knows she’s better at graphics, a master at glitter, and there’s artistic paper on hand, because you never know. He’s charming yet insistent; he won’t take no for an answer even if he insists on eating pop tarts and loves basketball and sort of thinks he can fix a beeping smoke alarm. He’s also wrapped up about 19th century American poetry, and what’s with that? Anthony’s a persistent young man and after an intermission Caroline comes around: Whitman DOES rule, the world needs to know more about him, and Anthony really is a good guy. But then he whips out this creep story about a kid keeling over during the game and dying. If that can’t get you a pass on an assignment what can?

Mr. Mitchel is the most insistently charming young man; he’s polite, helpful, willing to go the extra mile and also he’s more than kinda cute. Ms. Caroline is cranky, insistent and carries a Costco sized bag of shoulder chips. Still, you cheer for romance, it comes grudgingly but bigger and more metaphysical issues lurk here. Director Tiwari teases them out slowly to give this show a big build and a big payoff, and I’ll just leave it at that. And who knew plush turtle planetariums were A Thing?

This script was read a while back at New Playfest and not picked up, but here it is and I’m glad. It’s good to see more of those New Play Network shows getting traction in town. Small and intimate, this is a heartwarming yet chilling foray into hope, romance and spoken word. Plus, you’ll get that remedial Walt Whitman brush up in case his works come up in next month’s sales meeting. You never know.

For more information on Mad Cow, please visit http://www.madcowtheatre.com


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