Review: Phone Technology is Only Part of the Surreal Story

It’s only a plain vintage turn phone. Not one of these laptop-in-your-pocket gadgets that run your existence today. But when Jean takes ownership of the phone, it permits her to satisfy new people, discover love and visit the Johannesburg airport.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Sarah Ruhl’s 2007 play, can be a decade behind in cellphone generation, however, it retains its zing and surreal allure in the Comrades’ staging on the Greenhouse Theater Center. Arianna Soloway directs this rendition with a sharp forged of 5, led via Cydney Moody as Jean.

Jean sits in a coffee save ingesting coffee and writing. A man sits with him again to us at another desk. Suddenly his telephone earrings. And jewelry. Stops and earrings again. Jean, impatiently, ”Excuse me—are you going to get that?.. Would you thoughts answering your phone?” The cellphone keeps ringing. Finally, she answers his telephone and asks if she will be able to take a message or chats with the caller. After figuring out he’s dead, she dials 911 and tells the police the way to discover the café. And places the telephone in her purse.

Jean, dressed in a darkish raincoat, goes to the funeral, presided over by using Mrs. Gottlieb (Caroline Dodge Latta), Gordon’s mother. (Yes, the useless guy is Gordon, performed by Bryan Breau; you’ll meet him later.) When Mrs. Gottlieb calls her son’s cellular telephone, Jean chats along with her and accepts an invitation to dinner. There she meets Gordon’s widow Hermia (Lynnette Li) and his brother Dwight (Mike Newquist). Everyone assumes that Jean and Gordon were pals, as a minimum, considering the fact that she turned into “with him” while he died. And she has his mobile phone, in any case—which best Mrs. Gottlieb seems to suppose is unusual.


Jean and Dwight locate they’ve pastimes in common (they each love paper) and their friendship blossoms. And in dialogue with all of us that Gordon knew, Jean manages to tell them what they wanted to listen: Gordon cherished them, mentioned them as he died, desired them to have this token of his love, etc. Dead Man’s Cell Phone runs ninety mins and not using an intermission and you’ll no longer be checking your phone (or watch if you’re antique college) to peer if it’s nearly over. Soloway’s actors are all amazing, and performances via Moody and Latta are in particular strong. Latta is adorably gloomy as the fur- and velvet–wearing Mrs. Gottlieb and Moody is truly plausible as the lonely girl whose life is rejuvenated by means of a stranger’s cellular smartphone.

Sydney Eichler’s minimalist degree set is highlighted by using a set of angled walls that allow characters to seem and disappear with outdoors. Mike McShane’s lights and Eric Backus’ tune and sound layout make the short scene changes with the aid of the cast paintings nicely. Kelsey O. Cox designed the costumes.

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