Monday, January 28, 2008

Gorgeous SONG OF EXTINCTION at hotINK

Caught my friend E.M. (Ellen) Lewis's SONG OF EXTINCTION at hotINK on Saturday night. It played beautifully and tenderly. Superb cast and lyrical writing.

We were reading this play in Lee Wochner's playwriting workshop when I left LA, and I got to see the first half but not the conclusion before I moved to NY. The play chronicles the death of Lily (Kathryn Erbe), who leaved behind a biologist husband who appears to be more interested in the extinction of Bolivian beetles than his own wife's extinction (Ellery, played by Frank Wood) and a devastated teenage son, Max (Jade Hawk) who knows he is losing something irreplacable and can't accept it.

I often read the role of Cambodian high school biology teacher Khim Phan in the LA workshop. You will be happy to know, as I am sure Ellen was, that NYU had no trouble finding a much, much better fit for the role-- the incomparable Francis Jue, who is currently in Yellow Face at the Public. He was magnificent! Really a highlight. Such warmth and compassion. Francis had a wonderful scene with Jade Hawk as Max set in a lonely al-night noodle shop, that I thought was just magical. I also enjoyed Kathryn Erbe of TV's Law and Order, as Lily, and Frank Wood's Ellery. They were throroughly believeable and heartfelt.

Am off to see Jason Grote's MARIA/STUART tonight at hotINK tonight. Also planning to catch Mark Schultz' play DEATHBED later this week.