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DOWN AMONG THE VULTURES presented by Green Hills Theatre Collective as part of the 2015 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.
You can read the show description here.
To be honest, when I read the word “poetic” in a show description, my experience translates that into “over-written.” Unfortunately, DOWN AMONG THE VULTURES proves my experience correct. I found the characters to be way too verbose and the word choices didn’t feel appropriate to these modestly-educated folks in the rust belt.
The opening rant monologue of Waylon Simms doesn’t offer much in terms of exposition as he staggers around the stage in a hospital gown (in his own home?) sometimes dragging an IV stand, which he’s not connected to. Played by Andrew Hamling, I felt the performance was a bit over the top or perhaps too big for the venue.
The second scene is heavy with exposition and connects the dots from some of Waylon’s ramblings, which is good. But it does make me question the need and purpose of the first scene. Bradley Jennings Evans does solid character work as Oswald Motherwell. As written, Waylon’s unambitious children Lars (Michael Perrie Jr.) and Mindy-Lou (Laura Madden) are thinly-defined and spend most of the show lamenting their circumstances. Ave M. Lindon looks great for the role of ex-wife and mother Tammy-Maye Simms, but aside from the reference to vodka in her water bottle, doesn’t behave like the alcoholic, pill-popper her children describe.
The last scene of the show is a flashback to the characters last “family” dinner that doesn’t build to…anything.
Overall an odd pieces that doesn’t quite reach the heights of dark comedy it was aiming for. Three performances remain through June 6.
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