Friday, March 18, 2016

Word for Word: "Night Vision" and "Silence" ☼ ☼ ☼

As always, Word for Word has chosen to perform two complicated but delightful short stories. Emma Donoghue's "Night Vision" and Colm Tóibín's "Silence" bring us delightful characters, a beginning, an ending and much to talk about in between.

We can't applaud the two women leads enough. Rosie Hallett in the opening piece, Donoghue's "Night Vision," manages to place herself into the heart and soul of a blind nine-year-old from the 1820s, and with a perfect Irish accent! It is quite remarkable that we follow so intently as we watch her personal drama unfold in a world of twelve children in a one room house. Hallett also plays a minor role as Lady Anne Blunt in Tóibín's "Silence," which comes on after intermission. In this show, Stephanie Hunt is magnificent as Lady Gregory, whose indiscretion is made even harder for her because nobody knows about it yet.

 The ensemble makes every word count. Standouts are Richard Farrell as the Scottish minister in the first piece and Rudy Guerrero as Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Lady Gregory's love toy. Guerrero also has a humorous role as a Spanish dinner guest.

It was an excellent decision to see this performance on St. Patrick's Day. Not that we needed to taste all four complementary quaffs of Irish Whiskey after the show, but we felt lifted by an Irish brotherhood which became more pronounced after each taste. With or without whiskey, do go and see Donoghue's and Tóibín's stories with Word for Word.

Ratings: ☼ ☼ ☼

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division grants Three Stars to Word for Word's "Night Vision" and "Silence." There are no bad seats in the house -- buy the less expensive. This ensemble never fails to leave us exhilarated with the power of both live theater and the spoken word.

Word for Word's "Night Vision" and "Silence"  
Z-Below Theater
470 Florida Street, San Francisco
Through April 3

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