As MOON CAVE, directed by Kevin Glaccum, unfolds on stage, playwright Douglas Williams gives us a view into the life and psyche of Richard (Kevin Meehan), a young man who is continually haunted by horrific events from his past as a bullied preteen. These events culminated in an tragic incident that was made public via the news, such that Richard has given himself a new name, maintains a low profile, even lives without a personal phone. He meets a lovely vivacious young woman named Rachel (Taysha Canales) at a bar, gets drunk and wakes up in her apartment without remembering most of their interaction the night before, or her name. He, however, apparently opened up to her quite a bit, calling her his “Beyond Person” which worries him in the extreme for a number of reasons. Over and over in his mind he tries to reconstruct the night they met without success. Richard instinctively trusts Rachel, but he does not trust his past not to eclipse his future with her, despite her openness and encouragement Can love squelch the echo of his past?
Kevin Meehan imbues his conflicted character with soul, revealing mental emotions as they range in hue from light to dark throughout the play as he struggles with reality. His delivery transcends the words being said on the stage, especially during times of trudging through awkward couple’s dialog where the face told what the mouth could not say. Taysha Canales makes the audience like Rachel, a strong, honest and intelligent college student. It is a mystery as to why someone like Rachel would find someone like Richard appealing. Perhaps she likes challenges, or saving lost souls? Ah love… In any case Canales makes it work, and is fun to watch.
Costuming (Katherine Fritz) serves to further delineate the couple’s background and lifestyles. Richard’s costume gives him a homeless appearance; Rachel has a number of costume changes into casual but stylish clothing. A versatile set (Colin McIlvaine) that enables diverse scene locales, coupled with clever lighting (Joseph Glodek) and sound (Nick Kourtides), though sometimes loud, enhance the mood of this enigmatic exploration presented by Azuka Theatre. [Off Broad Street Theatre, 1636 Sansom Street]; March 4-22, 2015; azukatheatre.org.
- Here’s another take from Phindie writer Kathryn Osenlund
- And one by Neal Zoren
- Read a feature profile of playwright Doug Williams
- Check out the playwright’s diary from the production process
- And an interview with the playwright by fellow playwright Chris Davis
- Note: Azuka Theatre’s residency at the Off-Broad Street Theater is concluding after negotiations with the building’s new owner, Liberti Church, failed to result in a renewed lease. Azuka Theatre’s next production will be take place at Studio X, 1340 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147.