Salt Lake Acting Company: Two Stories | Salt Lake Acting Company | Theater | Salt Lake City Weekly


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Salt Lake Acting Company: Two Stories Buy Tickets

When: Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 1 & 6 p.m., Tue., Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 21, 2 p.m., Tue., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 28, 2 p.m. Continues through March 1 2015
Phone: 801.363.7522
Price: $24-$42
Elaine Jarvik's new play Two Stories initially appears to be about a cloistered white journalist who has a "learning" moment when a Pakistani family moves in next door. Yet, by the end, that notion seems quite clearly to be what the play itself is critiquing. The clues to this shift build gradually and subtly. For one, it eventually becomes obvious that, while the protagonist, Jodi, is a journalist fearing for her job against the dual blade of capitalistic ruthlessness and ageism, she's also a little shaky ethically. The broad manner in which the new neighbors are staged as characters eventually reads as a reflection of how Jodi sees them—as The Other—rather than as they are. And so what looks like yet another story of privileged (if temporarily disadvantaged) white people colliding with the lives of nonwhite people ends up becoming a damning and elegantly turned satire on that very dynamic. This clicks into place late in the play when (milder spoiler than it appears) Jodi's husband Kevin is accused of a hate crime, and is in utter disbelief that he has been accused, when the script and staging explicitly show him committing a hate crime. In the end, Two Stories is a provocative and multivalent work that looks at the failure of good intentions to overcome hardwired cultural condescension and is a typically fine and well-mounted piece of stagecraft from Salt Lake Acting Company. (Review of design elements is unfortunately not possible due to technical difficulties on the night of this review) (Danny Bowes)
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