Friday, September 25, 2015

Grounding the Seagull

Stupid &%&*ing Bird, now playing at Actor's Express, is hilarious, poignant and profound. You will not only laugh your ass off, you will leave examining your life (in a good way), pondering how you must improve it henceforth.

Robert Lee Hindsman | Actor's Express | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus
Robert Lee Hindsman | Actor's Express | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

Citing Con's desperate desire for a "new kind of play", Stupid $%&*ing Bird is exactly that. When the characters direct questions at you, they directing questions at you! How they make this performance a "new kind of play" is brilliant and exactly what you'll realize as you watch...and experience.

Citing Actor's Express...the 2015-2016 season at Actor's Express kicks off with the Atlanta premiere of Aaron Posner’s Stupid $%&*ing Bird directed by Freddie Ashley, with this "sort-of" adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, which had its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth in Washington, D.C. (where I’ve seen many magnificent performances and where my former boss was on the Board of Directors), in 2013.

It's been a hit around the country due to its blend of theatricality, humor and heart.

Rhyn Saver | Actor's Express | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus
Rhyn Saver | Actor's Express | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

This play was a unique experience for me in that I found EVERY actor to be absolutely brilliant, which isn't always the case, no matter the theater. I have only wonderful things to say about each and every one of them. There was not a role that I didn't find convincing, entertaining and true to some aspect of human nature.

That's exactly what Robert Lee Hindsman (Con), Rhyn Saver (Mash), Theo Harness (Sorn), Matt Felten (Dev), Stephanie Friedman (Nina), Evan Cleaver (Trig), and Lane Carlock (Emma) portray...brilliant acting! I imagine they're a fantastic, friendly team behind the scenes, a theatre family, even though this is some of their first times performing at Actor's Express. 

Of course, as many of you who see this show might guess, the character I most relate to is Dev, performed by Matt Felten. The character is true to himself, yet a dreamer, as well as a hopeless romantic. You'll have to see the play to see if he realizes his dreams or if his unrequited love devastates him beyond all hope. 

Stephanie Friedman and Evan Cleaver | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus
Stephanie Friedman and Evan Cleaver | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

I love that this play makes you think. It makes you take inventory. It makes you ponder if what you're doing right now in your life is what is going to make you happy in the long run. It's a profound play—while being hilarious—and I appreciate it for that.

Lane Carlock | Actor's Express | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus
Lane Carlock | Actor's Express | Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

When I lived in Atlanta the first time, I attended Actor's Express performances regularly...loved going to them! I'm totally bamboozled as to why it's taken me so long to return since I moved back.

After recently seeing Rent at Actor's Express and Stupid $%&*ing Bird TWICE during its current run, I'm again hooked on this theater! I'll be attending regularly once again!

Treat yourself....performances of Stupid $%&*ing Bird (not for kids) are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m., through Sunday, October 11, at Actor's Express. You definitely want to see—and experience—this life's exploration performance...

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