THE DISAPPEARANCE OF NICOLE JACOBS: PART 1: THE SISTER presented by Queen City Flash as part of the 2017 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. You can read the show description here.
“They also serve who only stand and wait.”
We’ve all seen those press conferences where tearful family members plead for information and the safe return of their missing loved ones. Using this as a jumping off point, playwright Trey Tatum explores how one sister deals with the loss and scrutiny as the search for her sister drags into months.
Miranda McGee is dutiful, older sister Crystal who is struggling to find purpose in her new reality. McGee handles the conflicting emotions very well in an on-point and engaging performance.
As Daniel, Nicole’s boyfriend, Henry Eden is believably earnest and awkward. The relationship between his character and Crystal, born out of mutual loss and need, matures naturally over the course of the show.
Rounding out the cast is Cassie Delicath as the missing Nicole. Even having little interaction with the other two actors, she is still equal parts engaging and ethereal on stage.
Director Bridget Leak elicits strong performances from all three actors. The pacing is solid, yet she allows some quieter moments to appropriately linger. I never found the blocking to be confined or repetitive; very nicely done considering the limitations of the playing area.
For such a heavy topic, Tatum brings a nice balance of humor to the script that never seems forced. The dialogue is natural and appropriate for the characters. However, at times, the discourse does become a bit verbose, particularly during a couple of Nicole’s soliloquies.
Perhaps the best compliment I can pay to the show is that I’m looking forward to see what comes next in Part 2. Four performances remain through June 10.