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Friday, June 20, 2008

Fresh Homespun Theatre

Ahhhh . . .
I love the smell of the air after it's rained. It smells fresh. It suggests newness and possibility.
Appropriate then that I should find myself at The Crossroads Theater after yesterday afternoon's rain showers, because it was the opening night of Jonson Y. Kuhn's latest theatrical endeavour, 4 Days in Bed, a new play co-written with Ariel Marks.
Those of you unfamiliar with Jonson Kuhn's previous work, Denver, missed something pretty special. I am not alone in saying that Kuhn is one of my generation's most promising playwrights . . . and, folks, he's right here in the 303.
The evening's festivities start off with a "first act" with live music by the band Cosimo and performances by Denver Slam Poets, creating an atmosphere of urban Bohemia that perfectly sets the stage for the second act of the night: a clever and frank examination of twenty-somethings in love (sort of . . . maybe) penned by Kuhn and Marks and brought brilliantly to life by actors Patrick Ryan and Ariana Griffith.
Ryan highlights the autobiographical nature of the play with a spot-on impersonation of high school chum Kuhn. However, Ryan's performance isn't merely clever artifice as he also masterfully captures the soul of his playwright friend. Ariana Griffith is so natural and strong on stage that I might have been inclined to think she had written her dialogue herself were it not for the sight of the real wordsmith, Marks, sitting nervously in the front row. Griffith is eminently watchable as the flawed, but adorable heroine.
The "dry spell" is over. This is One Big Bad Wolf who is excited about theatre again. Get yourselves down to Crossroads and see why, but do it quick: 4 Days in Bed runs through June 28 only.

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