Viewing Veronica

Viewing Veronica

Viewing Veronica
By Larry Stallings
Directed by Vicki Wicks
Starring Nicole Andrea Torres, Marcie Schwalm, and Dylan Bruce Thompson
Breakthrough Theater
Winter Park, FL

“Hi mom! I’m dead!” Cuter words were never spoken. Perky yet post mortem Veronica (Torres) passed far too soon, as is the case for almost all deceased teens. There was an obscure medical condition, a split over what to tell a minor about a critical health issue, and a crumbling parental marriage. All good stuff, and all in service to the theatrical interpretation of the afterlife. Veronica narrates to us directly, and only semi not quite but almost boyfriend Kyle has any sense of her presence. The tension here lies between Mother Laura (Schwalm) and her nasty ex Dennis (Kevin Hudson). He’s picked up a younger model Anne (Sydney Annas) and when they are all in the room, sparks fly. At first it appears Kyle might serve to suave Laura’s pain but in act two Kyles dada Ray (Anthony Marando) appears, and everyone goes bowling. Except, of course little Veronica; she’s off to play in the green hills of the afterlife.

While the script is a bit rough in places, and people swap emotional states way to fast, there’s a pleasant melancholy about what was and what might have been. Veronica is largely a commentator to the action; the principle tension here is the old fire between the passive and slightly depressed Laura and the over the top jealousy of her ex Dennis. Why he’s still stalking her is a mystery; he’s got the trophy wife and months sales leader, yet he cruises her house daily. Kevin is the most sympathetic person; even after only two dates he seemed headed down the road to romance. And now he’s thrown into a gatekeeper role as Laura’s shield. Push over, or take charge guy? I think it’s too soon to tell. This is a new take on an old story by a well-respected local playwright, and worth a look.

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