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 Feb. 26, 2015
After losing a half-million-dollar judgement, the City of Milwaukee is looking at ways to avoid paying the money. One of the solutions being explored is granting Silk a license in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.
Published Feb. 24, 2015
Sports movies are among the greatest films ever made, so what better time to list the top 14 sports movies of all time than right after the Oscars?
Published Feb. 20, 2015
"God of Carnage" is a biting comedy about two couples who turn from civilized to animals before our very eyes. But when two of the actors can't remember their lines, the evening turns out to be a real dud.
Published Feb. 19, 2015
The owners Silk Exotic today won a big victory in federal court as a jury awarded them a judgement of almost half a million dollars for revenue lost because the city would not grant them a license for a Downtown strip club.
Published Feb. 19, 2015
Domestic violence is something that most of us think doesn't touch those close to us. But in fact this familial violence cuts across all economic, social, geographic and ethnic boundaries.
Published Feb. 17, 2015
Bo Ryan has been coaching for 30 years in Wisconsin and he's had success wherever he's been. What's more, he's done it with a unique coaching style that features a deliberate offense and a tenacious defense that has the Badgers ranked among the best teams in the country.
Published Feb. 15, 2015
"Bare: A Pop Opera" is a play that seems to have some potential. But when you actually see it, the story seems so dated that it's hard to grab onto the message.
Published Feb. 14, 2015
"The Amish Project" is a play about a murderous shooting in a one-room schoolhouse that took place in 2006. The message behind the play is the incredible sense of forgiveness of the community that had been so victimized. It makes you wonder how each of us would react.
Published Feb. 12, 2015
Scott Walker is busy running for president and that campaign means he's got to curry favor with rich guys. Sheldon Adelson, the casino emperor, is a rich guy who hates the idea of a casino in Kenosha. And Governor Walker is trying to keep this guy happy.
Published Feb. 10, 2015
He's 39 years old and shot an 82 just a week ago. Tiger Woods seems worn out, by injury, the spotlight, the scandals and the constant coaching changes that resulted in swing changes. It may well be that we have just about seen the last of him.