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Theater

(a man enters)

A deeply personal look at family

By Brandon Burt
Posted // November 8,2011 -

Elaine Jarvik and Kate Jarvik Birch describe their new play as “our own personal fantasy.” So perhaps it’s best if we treat the play as entirely fictional, without drawing conclusions about famous living personages who may or may not be referenced therein.

Still, (a man enters) certainly seems autobiographical—intimately and sometimes uncomfortably so. The mother-daughter playwright duo has produced something so deeply personal that viewers are reduced to voyeurs, or even surrogate therapists, as the Jarviks work out their feelings and resentment toward “a man who’d removed himself from [their] lives so many years before.”

Celebrated scientist Peter (Terence Goodman, pictured left) is that man. The ex-husband of Terry (Joyce Cohen), and 20-years-estranged father of Rosie (Amanda Mahoney, pictured right) and Milo (Jesse Peery), never actually shows up to his ex-mother-in-law’s birthday party, but he appears plenty of times in the imaginations of the hurt and abandoned family members who have taken such great pains to welcome him to the event.

Naturally, the man doesn’t come off very well; in fact, he’s a narcissistic prick. In matters of the heart, Peter’s feelings can be described only as artificial. Still, Goodman’s bravura appearance in a Speedo is admirably disturbing.

Deena Marie Manzanares is hot, hot, hot as Milo’s wife, Dana. With her copper-magenta hair, wearing a sexy, bright-red, mid-calf party dress, she sparkles, glimmers and shines. (Full disclosure: She also produces weekly comic videos for City Weekly.) And, speaking of hot, Manzaneres and Peery perform a dance routine—comedic, yes, but it’s choreographed by Wasatch Tango—capable of inflaming the audience’s passions.

(A MAN ENTERS)
Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City, 801-363-7522
Through Dec. 4
$15-$38
SaltLakeActingCompany.org

 
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