Some people can go through an entire life with small troubles but avoid the huge catastrophe that all but makes you want to cash the whole thing in. These are lucky people.
Those who are slightly unlucky will face one of these cataclysmic events and will struggle to survive.
And then there are those whose only kind of luck is bad luck. They may face two, or even more, of these spine-chilling events during their lifetime.
"Dying City," which opened at Youngblood Theatre Thursday night, is about three of the last group. Three people who couldnâ€™t get off the track as the grief train kept roaring down on them.
This is a play about memories, both the honest ones and those created out of whole cloth.
Christopher Shinnâ€™s play was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and itâ€™s easy to see why.
Itâ€™s the story of Kelly (Tess Cinpinski), a therapist and widow of Craig (Andrew Edwin Voss), who who was killed in Iraq. Itâ€™s also the story of Peter (also Voss), Craigâ€™s identical twin, a gay Hollywood actor.
Craig has been dead for a year in what the army reported as a training accident.
The day of his funeral, Peter and Kelly bonded over a long, long talk and promised to stay in touch. But Kelly couldnâ€™t face Peter and even ignored his presence in New York where he was doing a play.
The action begins when Peter surprisingly arrives at Kellyâ€™s as she packs, preparing to move away.
The rest of the play alternates between the last night Craig and Kelly spend together before he leaves for Iraq, and the night that Peter comes to see Kelly.
It is an emotional play and a sad story of broken dreams, broken promises and broken spirits.
Voss sparkles in the dual roles of Craig and Peter. As he matures as an actor, his talent is catching up with his charisma.
Her has as much stage presence as anyone in town and is handsome beyond belief. In one 75 minute play he brings Peterâ€™s longing and Craigâ€™s uncertainty to life.
Cipinski, who along with Voss is one of the founders of Youngblood, is an absolute study of a woman who is certain of herself but equally uncertain about her life.
She is strong and weak, forceful and mousey, convincing and doubt-riddled all at once.
When she faces Peter in the final scene, finally coming to terms with the fact that her husband didnâ€™t love her, it gets so quiet you could hear a pin drop. But that silence is soon shattered.
"He wanted to get away from me so he went to Iraq and shot his head off," she screams at Peter, as a series of truths finally overcome the fictions.
"Dying City," under the direction of Benjamin Wilson, is a tough play, with many layers and a subtext that demands exploration. Youngblood has developed a reputation for staging provocative productions and this one is no exception.
"Dying City" runs through Oct. 12, and information can be obtained at youngbloodtheatre.com.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published June 29, 2016
The city has agreed to cut a check for $968,331.75 after losing its lawsuit at trial and again in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after the initial verdict. The amount covers both the damage award and attorney fees.
Published June 28, 2016
It's easy for the normal person to wonder what mountains there are left to climb for James DeVita, who may well be the finest actor ever to grace the stages in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. A mystery, "A Winsome Murder," is his first novel for adult readers.
Published June 27, 2016
"The Skin of Our Teeth" is about as unusual as it gets, and the production at Off The Wall has just about everything that I don't like in a theatrical production. The curious thing is that I loved all of it and found myself riveted at the end.
Published June 24, 2016
"Thank You, Next," with music by Tim Rebers and lyrics by Alicia Berneche, opens as Milwaukee Opera Theatre and artistic director Jill Anna Ponasik continue to redefine what opera means, staging provocative and very relatable productions.
Published June 23, 2016
It may not be possible to be any more revolted by the Republican Party than I am right now. This week Senate Republicans, including our Sen. Ron Johnson, turned down a couple of serious attempts to enact minor laws designed to help control gun violence.
Published June 21, 2016
The Milwaukee Ballet is celebrating this summer after seeing a 15 percent boost in attendance and record revenue of $2.3 million, proving that high-quality work will capture attention - and, perhaps most importantly, dollars - in Milwaukee.
Published June 20, 2016
Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" receives a spectacular, blistering treatment at American Players Theater in Spring Green. There are many who claim this is the greatest of all American plays and, after seeing this production, it'd be hard to argue.
Published June 17, 2016
His name is "Tank," and he drives a big semi - one of 30 that will be in Milwaukee for Kenny Chesney's show at Miller Park Saturday night. He took my Uber ride and provided a little look into what it takes to keep a show like this one the road.
Published June 14, 2016
This may come across as a little heartless and dismissive but it's time to put a stop to the kind of hopeless junk that rose up after the horror of the massacre in Orlando. The only way to win the battle for gun control is with sophisticated politics.
Published June 14, 2016
Summer in Wisconsin offers dozens of quick trips that are filled with experiences new and memorable, and one of the best possible trips revolves around the lauded American Players Theater up in Spring Green.