Monday, October 20, 2014

Buried Child
The Edge Theatre: 10/17 – 11/16

     On April 3, 1975 the War in Viet Nam ended.

     This was the first war that the nuclear family in America had been able to experience from a seat right in front of their television watching Vietnamese people be napalmed on the evening news and hearing Lyndon Johnson and then Richard Nixon talking about saving the world from Communism.  
      When our boys in uniform returned they returned to jeers of “Baby Killers!” They were not recognized as the good patriotic boys they had seemed marching off to war. They were not given parades as their fathers had upon returning from Europe and Japan. They were disinherited, disenfranchised, disowned. They were, like their fallen and dismembered brothers, our nation’s …buried children.
     In 1979 Sam Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for “Buried Child,” his play about the obliteration of the American Dream.

     L-R: Dan Mundell, Rob Kramer, Emma Messenger, Missy Moore, Royce Roeswood and Brian Landis-Folkins seated.

Shepard’s play, set in a “realistic” farm house in Illinois, holds the detached remnants of what may have once been a real American family with real American values. There are strokes of surrealism and of symbolism imbedded in Shepard’s script, which on a first glance may seem disconnected. However… they are not.
     Rick Bernstein does yeoman’s service to Shepard’s American nightmare with superlative direction that elicits engaging performances from a very good cast.
      Emma Messenger is powerful as Haley, a harridan of a matriarch who has emasculated her husband by committing incest with one of their sons and continues to humiliate him by openly having an affair with Father Dewis, their parish priest. Missy Moore portrays Shelly, the voice of reason in the play, who tries to find something beyond dysfunction in this family of lost souls. Ms Moore’s performance is nuanced in such a way as to understand why her work upon the stage is in constant demand.

      As Tilden, the son who had sexual relations with Haley, Rob Kramer is appropriately dim and mentally absent.
     Tim Fishbaugh gives us a mild-mannered, if somewhat deluded man of the cloth.
   Brian Landis Folkins turns in a fine portrayal of Bradley that starts as a threat and ends up a whimper. 
     Dan Mundell does an admirable job of portraying the impotent, gravel-voiced patriarch.
     Royce Roeswood is Vince, the son/grandson who, unrecognized, comes home from the war to the spiritual squalor of what once was home. Mr. Roeswood’s work in this production makes us feel the depth of rage with which playwright Shepard encoded his script.
      This is a heavy hitter in all aspects. It's recommended for all lovers of dark serious drama with multiple layers and meanings.

The Edge Theater presents
“Buried Child”
Shelly is charmed by Vince's farm house until she meets his crazy family.
Oct. 17 - Nov. 16
Fri./Sat. @ 8 p.m.; Sun. @ 6 p.m.
No Show on Sunday, November 2 / $15 Industry Night, Mon., Nov. 3 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets: $22 - $26/ $15 on Nov. 3
303-232-0363 or online at
The Edge Theatre, 1560 Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood CO 80214. Free Parking.Marlowe's Musings


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