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 March 26, 2015
Michael Isikoff is, perhaps, the best investigative reporter in the country and he has written a story about secret big money donations to Scott Walker. The story could well be the death knell for Walker's presidential aspirations.
Published March 24, 2015
Ron Roenicke had the team option through next season picked up, but that decision may well not be the best thing for the Brewers. Lame ducks have the freedom to take risks and be creative which is something the team could use.
Published March 17, 2015
Boxing has started to get national television exposure and early returns are that the sport still has a draw. At one point boxing was one of the most popular sports in the world.
Published March 15, 2015
"The Snow Dragon" at Skylight Music Theatre proves once again that brave choices make for enthralling nights of live entertainment. The English language opera deals with child abuse and the healing process for everyone.
Published March 14, 2015
"Five Presidents," at the Milwaukee Rep, takes a look at what it must have been like when four ex presidents and one sitting one gathered for the funeral for Richard Nixon. The play is full of humor but falls short when it comes to credibility.
Published March 12, 2015
Every candidate goes through the same steps when they think about running for president. Scott Walker has already taken six of the most obvious steps, so he must be serious about this whole thing.
Published March 10, 2015
Now that Bob Dandridge's jersey has been retired, attention moves to who should be next to climb into the ring of honor. There are lots of candidates, including some unusual ones.
Published March 5, 2015
Wisconsin law requires a 48-hour waiting period to purchase a handgun. Gov. Scott Walker has announced he would support a measure that will eliminate that waiting period. He made his pledge to the National Rifle Association.
Published March 3, 2015
Last year spring training was something we needed. As fans of the pro sports teams in Milwaukee and Green Bay, our spirits needed to be lifted out of the doldrums. But now we've got other stuff to be excited about so spring training doesn't have the urgency it once did.
Published March 2, 2015
"Come Back" is the work of local playwright Neal Haven, one getting its world premiere at In Tandem Theatre. It's a play about the grief of losing a loved one and tries to find humor in the situation.