‘Speechless’ by The Moving Co.


Last night we went to see the play ‘Speechless’ performed by The Moving Company at The Lab Theater in downtown Minneapolis. I wanted to see the show (Best Play of 2017 – StarTribune) because it is being produced by former members of Theatre De Le Jeune Lune, namely, created by Steven Epp and directed by Dominique Serrand. In reading a preview I was further intrigued by the premise, no words, only movement interwoven in the music of Brahms, Schubert & Tchaikovsky.

In reading the synopsis, “SPEECHLESS follows five brave souls as they navigate through grief, loss, and disbelief” -The Moving Company, I found I was immediately drawn by the history and creative nature of Jeune Lune and these players’ ability to demonstrate an avenue of experimental theatre often missed by many, but for those that dare, the reward outstanding. Last evening was no exception.

The night began with the company of players, five actors walking out into the stage, and intermingling with the audience while the lights slowly fade, their expressions all appearing earnest and welcoming, almost lonely in their need to connect, to only simply, say something. One actor as they centered, slowly opened his mouth for a certain utterance, and then simply backed away in pained disbelief. They all then lighted accordingly began their performance with the music moving their soul.

What transpired over the next 90 minutes was rather incredible in this relevant statement upon our society and its loss of ‘hope’ as would be one of the only tangible motifs I could easily draw conclusion upon. Throughout certain movement and precise acuity the actors then told the story of a society lost, grieving, finding relief, looking for motion, looking for someway to seek comfort inside a world of crumbling and disheveled chaos that only continued to unravel. Everything they touched seemed to fall away and even shatter in literal testament of the destruction their lives would now endure.

Yet, the beauty of ‘Speechless’ is that as their world tore apart, they kept finding ways to mend, even realizing that while the best of their world lay in fragments if they brought their energy together, there then, people could somehow find some new grounding to within the magic of the human condition piece together their lives.

Through a remarkable array of dance, acrobatics, layered meaning and finally the utterance of body and soul that had me imagining Pink Floyd’s ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’ the players slowly found themselves together and with the meaning of hope, they did discover spring again, and planting seeds finished the night in a spectacular rainbow of meaning that showed the audience, once again, love is everything.

This is certainly a special piece of theatre playing through the 10th of June. If you are curious, I assure you, there is reason to find out why. Go.

Are We That Society? ‘The Counselor’ a review

I have to wonder if glorifying the sick and twisted is really where our society wants to lead themselves. I watched ‘The Counselor” with intrigue because, one, the name value drew me – Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt – a number of actors that really grace the stage with character and panache. But that’s where the movie left me frustrated.

All that panache and glitz seemed lost in some twisted notion to explain away the ills of our society, and glorify the delivery of methodical evil on our world. We don’t need this right now. We need reality and love – that can still be found at the movies, right?

The actors? Are they just sidelining their morals to collect a paycheck? I know there are superstars out there that only take roles they feel merit substance. I’m curious about this set of names that graced the stage in ‘The Counselor” I cannot justify the ideal that listening to the philosophy of criminals is of a greater value than people that represent good in our lives.

I walked away feeling a bit confused about what it was that I liked, and as I get further away, I wonder why I would like this in the first place.