A- Team full Review

One of our newest A- team members wanted to share his full length review with the rest of the theatre going world…. Thanks Preston!

Good-bye Fourth Wall !

A Review of Muses III, the vestige group

by Preston Kirk

Forget the proverbial “fourth wall” between actors and audiences. Muses III, Vestige Group’s latest installment, is theater up close and personal. I’m talking arm’s length or less. Your mouth will water for the fresh-baked brownies. Pool water splashes on you. A cluttered portico (and life) pains you with unfinished projects…or relationships.

The “sets” are different rooms indoors and out of an exotically decorated – think African masks and fabrics kaleidoscope – Westlake home, courtesy of Pam & Phil Friday.

You’re less a patron and more of a fly on the wall, an eaves-dropping, unseen friend; a shocked voyeur; perhaps a character in one of the unfolding tales capably told by a highly polished cast.

I’m familiar with drawing room dramas and parlor plays, but this takes the traditional theater experience to a whole new level. No, not for everyone. These playlets, from 11 local playwrights, 15 actors, four directors plus crew members and guides, are probably PG-16.

You may depart stirred and disturbed, but above all, entertained. You’ll have a new respect for your own daily dramas – funny, inspiring, pathetic – that unfold within your own “walls.”

“Spilled Milk,” written by Bastion Carboni, presents a nice conundrum: “Who’s real and who’s not?” Or, perhaps, for the obsessive-compulsive audience member, “Who is going to clean up this mess . . . the real or the imaginary one?”

Meanwhile, the viewers/voyeurs seemed happily drawn into playwright Marsall Ryan Maresca’s “Poolside”” as much about an interloping “cougar” and a summer encounter as it is about connecting, timing and hooking up.

High marks to Tracy Medberry for her delightful voice and recollection of a home seller who negotiated and got more than she bargained for from a potential buyer in writer Max Langert’s “A Little Beethoven.” Loved the dialect. Long Island Jewess?

“Wherein we tell our secrets to strangers,” written and directed by the Vestige Group co-founder Susie Gidseg is tantamount to a late night confession. Unsettling, and about as close as a theatergoer can get to an actor blithely discussing binge eating and porking up. Yvonne Young reflects on her sorrow and her situation with a touching poignancy.

These entirely new works may be less controversial and more confirming to some audience members. But as for this reviewer, it certainly maintains this young theatre company’s commitment to “inspiring conversation and creating awareness.”

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About nowplayingaustin

The Austin Creative Alliance is a nonprofit performing arts service organization working to cultivate an environment where the performing arts can grow and flourish. We serve over 130 arts organizations with marketing, ticketing, audience development services; AEA paymaster, information & referral services — plus access to affordable health, liability, and event insurance. We also provide online professional development seminars, fiscal sponsorship services for emerging arts groups, host annual unified general auditions, annual theatre industry awards, and consistently advocate for the many benefits the arts bring to our quality of life.

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