Seeing a “world-premiere” production can be both exciting and not. While there is the usual anticipation of what form this production will take, there are those other questions. What is the story line? Will it entertain me for the moment only or will I find myself going back to the ideas and holding them up to the light to examine more fully? Will this be an interesting production? Will I enjoy it?
This weekend Austin Playhouse presents the “world premiere” of Cyndi Williams’s play Roaring and the answer to that most-important last question is a resounding Yes!
The Roots is an underground, advanced-care facility. One is its residents, Lillian, is
celebrating her 123rd birthday, which makes her the oldest, living woman in the world. Other residents include a female, two-time Nobel prize winner (Smart Joan), a 70-ish former musician (Johnny), a real-life Rosie-the-Riveter type from the World War II era (Pretty Joan) as well as other charming, interesting denizens of this microcosm. Others include the young, MIT-educated engineer who is responsible for the facility, the staff doctor, his “colorful” mother, the young TV reporter who has come to cover the birthday event, and the great-granddaughter of Pretty Joan. In addition is the youthful spirit of that oldest living woman (Lil), who offers us a glimpse of who Lillian once was, before she “lost her voice,” before became old.
Put these interesting characters in the hands of actors Babs George, Mary Agen Cox, Huck Huckaby, Hildreth England and J. Ben Wolfe and the result is magical. Directed by Lara Toner, the show will both entertain and tickle your mind with lines such as “If we could have another self, what might it be?” And then there is the search for the “lost blue of the spectrum…indigo.”
Roaring runs April 4 through May 4, 2014 at the Austin Playhouse. For performance times and ticket information, go to www.austinplayhouse.com or call 512.476.0084.