Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Small Fire

                                Haley Johnson and Paul Page in "A Small Fire"
                                             Christian Mast and Paul Page
                                    Paul Page and Kirsten Brant in "A Small Fire"

Playwright Adam Bock’s “A Small Fire” is a worthy play that deserves your attention and your attendance. It's on view now at The Edge Theatre on West Colfax.  In Bock's play a woman who heads up a construction company suddenly begins to lose her senses one by one. Kirsten Brant does well expressing the anguish of Emily Bridges, a person caught up in this disorienting experience. As she descends further and further into this void Brant makes us feel how important it is to see, hear, taste, smell and feel everything. Ms. Brant is new to Denver and a welcome addition to this theatre community.

Paul Page leads the cast as the husband who must hold the family together as his wife’s experiencing of life ebbs. Page's character reminds us that even with the loss of these first four senses-sight,hearing, taste and smell - it's the sense of touch and profound passionate love that make all the difference. Without these all the world is nothing more than mannequins and window dressing. More than friend, lover and confidante, this husband has his hands full trying to keep morale up on the home front. Page, who is brilliant throughout, turns in some especially fine work in the scene in which he describes the various activities and guests at their daughter’s wedding to a visually impaired wife.

 Christian Mast is superb in a role, which allows him a balance between his outrageous comic side and the serious dramatic side we seldom get to see. His scenes as Emily’s foreman and close friend  contrast nicely with one  in which he plays a kind of cheerleader for some homing pigeons on the wing.

Haley Johnson (Mast’s wife in real life) plays Emily’s daughter, Jenny. The mother-daughter issues surrounding Jenny’s impending wedding that are hotly debated at the top of the play become less and less important as Emily continues her decline and Jenny becomes more empowered. Ms. Johnson, who has been brilliant as Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and Madame Merteuil in “Dangerous Liaisons” turns in some fine work in the supporting cast this time.

 Robert Kramer directs the show with a clear eye and a poet’s touch. The dismantling  of the fragmentary scenic design is choreographed with grace and precision by stagehands, who deserve high praise for their work.

Anyone in attendance will feel the heart of this play long after he leaves the theatre. For days afterward many of the simple things in life that one may have taken for granted take on a whole new flavor. The epiphanies engendered by “A Small Fire” will spark a new awareness of what's truly important in Life. Do yourself a favor and see it.

The Edge Theatre
“A Small Fire”
Unexpected loss leads to an unlikely love story.
Mar 16 – Apr 15
Fri./ Sat. and Monday, Apr. 9 at 8:00 p.m.; Sun. at 6 p.m. (No performance on April 8)
Tickets are $20.00 adult $19 online; $15.00 Students & Seniors; $10 on Mon., April 9
303-232-0363 or online at
The Edge Theater, 9797 W Colfax Ave - Lakewood, CO 80215

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