Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On Stage: Zora Neale Hurston's Spunk


Last night, I was lucky enough to catch a last dress rehearsal viewing of the Penobscot Theatre Company's Spunk, which is a stage version of Zora Neale Hurston's classic short story collection of the same name. I had never been to this theater before and I had never seen Spunk on stage, so I didn't know what to expect.

It was amazing. Truly. The theater was gorgeous and the seats were comfy. The stage was inviting and warm and the set was simple but dynamic enough to allow for scenes set in Florida and New York. The acting and singing were brilliant. There were times during this performance that I was literally clapping and bouncing in my seat. It had that Sunday morning church service effect on me.

The subject matter of these stories, though, is anything but Sunday morning. There's lots of lovin' and pimpin' and flirtin' goin' on. Issues of domestic violence and extra-martial affairs are also spotlighted. Through it all, though, there is a sense that the problems and issues that are discussed are timeless but not hopeless. Women can grow to find their strength to stand up to abusive husbands. Husbands who have been cheated on can either forgive their wives or leave their wives. Marriages can fail or succeed but life will continue. It is profound and straightforward all at the same time.

If you have an opportunity to visit Bangor, Maine, go to see this play! It runs now through March 7th. Enjoy!

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