All three actors in Lavery's drama about a serial killer convey emotion skillfully and powerfully, often in monologue - though Laila Robins's Agnetha is sometimes too theatrical and strident. The use of amplifier feedback to punctuate her speeches doesn't help. Her intense weeping at the play's start seems manipulative, and the revelation of her loss, anticlimactic, compared to Nancy's (Rosalind Ayres) loss of her murdered child. The central "frozen" metaphor is strained, and the speculation on evil and responsibility, commonplace. The real power lies in both Ayers's portrayal of a stricken woman coming to grips with life and Jeffrey Donovan's chilling characterization of the killer's sick affection for little girls.
One evening 10-year old Rhona goes missing. As her mother retreats into a state of frozen hope, a psychologist studies the brain of a serial killer to find out if what he does is pure evil-or simply beyond his control. Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three embark on a long, dark journey that ends in the discovery of a common humanity. A 2004 Tony Award Nominee for Best Play.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Rosalind Ayres as Nancy, Jeffrey Donovan as Ralph, and Laila Robins as Agnetha. Directed by Eric Simonson. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, in January 2005.
©2005 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2005 L.A. Theatre Works
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"The difference between a sin and a symptom..."
Three characters, Nancy, a mother struggling with the unexplained disappearance of her ten year old daughter, Ralph a loner and monster, and Agnetha Godsdottir, a scientist trying to find an answer.
The opening is jarring and confusing, possibly intentionally. The use of a mic effect for some of Dr. Godsdottir's scenes is useful in that it grounds the location and audience of the passages. While Agnetha's scenes sometimes jar and we're treated to more of her personal life and the wreckage thereof than is strictly useful or interesting the character is made more human for it. Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice, Touching Evil etc) is masterful as Ralph managing the vocalizations and accent beautifully. He's quite a vocal chameleon.
The theme of being frozen and in a way thawed runs throughout the play.
Nancy, the mother frozen in time by the loss of her daughter is crushed and freed by finding her.
While Godsdottir is caught like a bug in amber warring with grief and guilt in her personal life away from the horrors she is steeped in daily in her professional life.
And Ralph, emotionally frozen and separate from the rest of humanity be default earns no favors when his thaw comes.
This is in no way clean or light or easy fare and at the end there aren't even any heroes or villains there's just people and baggage and that's the point.
Well worth a credit though due to length I would recommend an outright purchase. You won't be disappointed.
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