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  •  REVIEW: THE SECRET OF STEEP RAVINES

    The Secret of Steep Ravines

    Gully gee

    "The Secret of Steep Ravines" is a dark, dreamlike return to the spirit of the Great Depression, enhanced with music and imaginative choreography.

    By ROBIN EISGRAU
    Offoffoff.com

    Set during the Depression, "The Secret of Steep Ravines" is a dreamlike exploration of what lies behind the surface of ordinary life.

      
    THE SECRET OF STEEP RAVINES
    Written by: Rachel Dickstein with Barbara Wiechmann.
    Directed by: Rachel Dickstein.
    Cast: Genna Brocone, David Natale , Julia Prud'homme, Victoria Boomsma, Erika Latta, Dion Doulis, Patrick Lacey, Kameron Steele and Ryan Metzger.
     SCHEDULE
    P.S. 122
    150 First Ave. at 9th St.
    Dec. 6-29, 2002

    The main character of the play is a young girl named Frances (played by Genna Brocone) whose world gets radically changed when her parents' marriage dissolves and she is taken by her mother in the middle of the night on a train trip to her grandfather's home. There she and her mother take up residence with their bedridden patriarch and her two aunts, Amelia and Edith.

    Bored and suffering under hard times, the family subsists on onions and radishes grown in their paltry garden while envying the plentiful apples in thier neighbors' yard. Men come and go, hoping for better days to come along soon. Frances spends her days exploring the house and finding mysteries everywhere: behind doors and in myriad boxes that are opened with a key her grandfather has given her.

    Not simply a drama, this production incorporates music and imaginative choreography which makes it a multilayered, involving theatrical experience. Although the sets are minimal, the 1930s are evoked vividly through the use of music and the period perfect suits and day dresses worn by the actors. The actors speak in an expressive visual dialogue through their movements, telling their story via an abstract language. Especially graceful and striking is when all the actors stand on chairs and turn their bodies clockwise in perfect synchronization.

    "The Secret of Steep Ravines" is an evocative visit to a place in the past that exists in the imagination.

    DECEMBER 21, 2002
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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