Bas Bleu hosts world premiere of “Hide Sky” by Caridad Svich
Reviewed by Tom Jones, February 5. 2016
“Home is where the heart….is or isn’t.” Three now-adult siblings get together at the Rawlins family home after the funeral of their suicidal mother. The eldest daughter, Shawn, appears to be taking on the role of the family matriarch. She is a take-charge woman whose own marriage is on the rocks, and her husband has moved on. The younger daughter Maureen (“Mo”) is a hippie who returns to the family home with enough baggage to fill several volumes of tribulations. Ray is the n’er-do well son who is basically a drunk, and has no desire to build relationships with his sisters.
Corinne Wieben as Shawn, Kryssi Jeaux Miller as Mo, and Kiernan Angley as Ray skillfully display the problems the Rawlins family have faced and are facing. There is ongoing animosity, regrets for past behavior, and the realization that they really don’t have much in common – except their mother who ruled the roost and seems to have abandoned the three in so doing.
In the space of less than 90 minutes (with no intermission) we are present as the three meet at the family home after the mother’s. death. They are disgusted with how much “junk” their mother accumulated over the years, as she evidently had a continual desire to “shop for more.” The “junk” they discover isn’t only their mother’s possessions but includes emotional memories of growing up in the same home, and how they tried to distance themselves from each other. Each made choices the others didn’t approve of. Even the feeling of the way each looks at religion causes rifts in the family group. But it remains “the family” that brings them together.
This is the world premiere of “Hide Sky,” and is one of four plays the author has created, looking at various sections of the country, and how families relate. Playwright Caridad Svich is an award winning author, and her plays look at disparate family feelings.
Director Sarah Zwick-Tapley has carefully brought this current story to life on the stage of Bas Bleu. The set is basic, but very effective, on the shores of water in Florida, with excellent lighting, and sound convincing the audience that it is raining, and that a storm can rage both in the skies and on the stage. The playwright’s language can be offensive and off-putting; but she is able to bring across the basic background and verbiage of the play’s Rawlins family in Florida.
The three performers are convincing: Corinne Wieben as the daughter who has messed up her marriage and wants to decide how her siblings should look at religion. Kryssi Jeaux Miller is a winner as the renegade daughter who fled the area when in her early teens, due to bullying and physical violence she faced from girls as well as boys. Kiernan Angley’s portrayal of the drunken Ray is a wonder, as he ambles around the stage, not wanting to show that he had hidden religious feelings. He is a talented performer who brought great life to the role of “Romeo” last season at OpenStage.
“Hide Sky” is not a happy tale. But it is a serious and heart-felt look at relationships, and the need to “move on.” There is a wonderful scene near the end of the show when the three are huddled together by candlelight after a storm, unwilling to verbalize such, but each realizing the importance of the family, and of “home.”
When: Through February 28, 2016
Where: Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524
For Tickets: 970/498-8949