In-Your-Face Theater

In the tiny space that is Juggerknot, some powerful stuff gets thrown your way

Some of the dialogue has the elliptical quality of audiovideo, but within this new context and under the dark set lighting, it takes on a disjointed, disturbing sensuality and hostility that's almost dreamlike. For instance the man says to the girl, who hardly sleeps: "We lose more in our dreams than we ever had waking to find -- another reason to stay awake." It also is this stream of consciousness that becomes a bit unwieldy and confusing in some of the man's monologues. The play seems to go on too long, and its end leaves us with some major questions: Who really is the young girl's lover? Is it her mother's lover or her own father? Has the lover been arrested? Is he being cross-examined? This ambiguity is somewhat disconcerting after investing an hour and 40 minutes in these characters and their situation.

David Perez, Jay Catlett, and Oscar Isaac dabble in sex, lies, and two videotapes
David Perez, Jay Catlett, and Oscar Isaac dabble in sex, lies, and two videotapes

Because the script itself is so rich in dialogue and characterization, and Bravo and Pooler's performances are solid, I did not leave feeling unsatisfied but was definitely aware that I had just seen a work in progress, one that needs a little more editing. Honing well-written text is a problem most writers don't complain about. And the experience of having theater as an experimental laboratory for new works is exciting. It's also part of Juggerknot's mission, as Bravo (also artistic director of Juggerknot) explains, "I would eventually like Juggerknot to be a place where playwrights can come and workshop their material, then take their pieces to New York or other parts of the country." As a matter of fact, land. will make its New York debut next spring as part of INTAR's (International Arts Relations) 2002 season. Juggerknot continues to find the right work for its small space and expansive mission, and South Florida theatergoers continue to benefit from it.

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