Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review of Route 66 Theatre Company's The Source

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Source. It was by Gabrielle McKinley and it was directed by Jason Gerace. It is about a man named Vernon (Cody Proctor) and a woman named Oona (Kristina Valada-Viars) who were both asked to go on a mission to meet with the source of leaked documents. They end up forming this bond over these days that they are together waiting for the source. It is about secrets, trust, and devotion. I thought this was a really awesome and interesting show. It was like a live suspense movie and I absolutely loved it.

I think the relationship between Oona and Vernon is very touching, but at the beginning it certainly isn't. They start out as enemies, but then they eventually become caring friends. I think that this is kind of of a traditional trope in spy stories and stories where people are trapped or stuck with each other. It wasn't predictable though because they played it for so long that they didn't really like each other. There weren't signs all around saying "They actually like each other." They really get to see who the other person is and then they start to like each other. It is believable because the acting, the directing, and the writing all work together to make a really intriguing and meaningful relationship. The way that their lines at the beginning kind of snap back and forth between each other make them seem witty but not too cruel to have a relationship after. The characters are exhilarated by their discussions, so they pick fights. So the fights become kind of a source for passing the time with playful human interaction. But they also talk about their own lives and what they think about them. It makes a very meaningful relationship that you are very invested in.

I think that this play is generally really intriguing and engaging. But I feel that it was sometimes unspecific. You never really know what they're trying to find out. The writer might have done this to make it up to the viewer what the subject of the papers is. It makes it slightly discombobulating for me to have the people in the story know what is going on but not me. As they discover things, the audience doesn't always get told what the content of the discovery is. The play is about the relationship between the two characters, of course, so not having the specifics makes the audience focus more on that. I think that relationship is a really great one to watch, but I really wanted to know everything about the papers and the source too.

Suspense is a very big factor in this show because the entire time there was the looming presence of someone unknown. Sometimes the writer and director build up the tension right until you say, well I guess nothing is going to happen, and then they get you. My response was jumping up in my seat and trying to keep from screaming. Some people would curl up in their seats and hold on so no one could take them away. And some people would actually scream. I thought it was really fun and funny to watch and also to get scared so many times right when you let down your guard. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I've never been so scared of a Rubik's Cube in my life. You are interested in the relationship so much that you kind of forget that they could be killed at any moment, and then when you are reminded of it, it is even more terrifying because you've grown to love the characters even more than you did before. I think the ending is actually beautifully choreographed and terrifying because at this moment there is no one that you can see on stage and then one mysterious thing happens and then another and then the lights go out without you really understanding, but that is what makes you think about it a lot later.

People who would like this show are people who like developing relationships, suspense, and scary Rubik's Cubes. I think people should definitely go see this show. I think it is an awesome experience and I really loved it.

Photos: Rob Zalas

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