Off-Off Broadway Theater Review: DRAGON (Articulate Theater Company at the Robert Moss Theatre)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on June 4, 2013

in Theater-New York

LOVE AS A MYTHICAL BEAST

Compelling performances and Cat Parker’s surefooted direction overcome budgetary and other constraints associated with short-run, theater-festival productions, making Jenny Connell Davis’s Dragon, which is part of the Planet Connections Theater Festivity, a worthwhile and at times quite moving theatrical experience. Often intentionally ambiguous, and combining the allegorical with the Dmitry Zvonkov's Stage and Cinema Off Off Broadway review of Articulate Theatre' "Dragon."literary, the fantastic with the everyday, Ms. Davis’s play about love, relationships and dragons centers around a woman (a sympathetic Maeve Yore) quickly approaching middle age, who tells us that in her youth she fell in love with one of these mythical creatures. But soon her dragon left her, and after waiting for him for three years she married a carpenter (Joe Roseto) and moved to Minnesota. We get the sense that this woman is too sophisticated for her husband, who is a good man and loving but simple – Mr. Roseto gives his character a low center of gravity, suggesting a carpenter’s adaptation for preventing falls from high places, both in the Dmitry Zvonkov's Stage and Cinema Off Off Broadway review of Articulate Theatre' "Dragon."physical and the emotional sense. This is a useful quality as his wife’s Dragon (a dark and sly Daniel Piper Kublik) returns to claim her.

Parallel to this storyline is the tale of a little boy (Tony Ponella) who, wandering around in the desert, finds an injured Dragon Girl (played with a lovely mixture of confidence and vulnerability by the limber Katie Mack). He falls in love with her but she leaves him, promising to return soon. When she does, 10 years have passed and the boy is a teenager now (a naturalistic James Leighton) with a girlfriend and a job at a convenience mart.

There is a good amount of satisfying mystery in Dragon and the realistic scenes are mostly solid. Ms. Davis makes a number of meaningful observations about love (both young and middle-aged), relationships and their hierarchies, teenagers, and the malaise of married life. Especially precise and satisfying are two monologues delivered by Mr. Roseto. And a lot of the Dmitry Zvonkov's Stage and Cinema Off Off Broadway review of Articulate Theatre' "Dragon."stuff about dragons is quite good, some of it even poetic. However, there is occasionally the feeling that not all the kinks related to these creatures’ place in the play have been worked out. For one thing there is the sense that the rules for them are mutable and change when it is convenient for the playwright. There are times when this works, when it serves the themes of the play, but other times it feels like a cheat; the script seems to skirt that line just a little too often. There is also a danger of redundancy when using too much allegory, of showing something happening in reality and then repeating that same thing metaphorically, as with the scenes of the flying angel/knight in Terry Gilliam’s otherwise brilliant film Brazil. Dragon falls into this sentimental trap on a few occasions, but it’s nothing that a little tweaking can’t fix.

photos by Roy Googin

Dragon
Articulate Theater Company, part of the Planet Connections Theater Festivity
Robert Moss Theater
scheduled to end on June 17, 2013
for tickets, call (917) 338-9541 or visit http://planetconnections.org/dragon/

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