Saturday, July 6, 2019

Siren Call (Catch Up Review)

Spoilers ahoy!

Realism in dramatic art began in theatre.  I genuinely believe it no longer really belongs there.  Movies and television can far more easily recreate a naturalistic place or time than can any theatrical production.  By the same token, I hold that fantasy naturally belongs to live theatre.  Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Dracula, etc. belong where the human imagination can be wielded with greater impact than any amount of CGI (no matter how well done).

Siren Call proves an example of precisely what I mean.

Written by Jola Cora, who joins Annalee Scott and Paul Louis Harrell on stage, this play posits what at first seems only a quirky bit of drama in some side shadow of Hollywood.  An actress/movie star wannabe feels hopeless and despondent, urging her sometimes boyfriend to help her see or somehow touch the movie star with whom she is obsessed just once before she gives up.  He agrees, knowing someone who knows said movie star's gardener.  While she is out, attending a premiere, they sneak into her home to feel what it is like to be there, to touch and experience a few drops of her life.

So imagine how they react when she walks in on them!  Walks in, does not panic or scream, but merely seems curious.  She insists she is not the movie star over whom they both one way or another obsess.  And they assume she's playing some game.

But what if she isn't?  What if she is not whom they think?  What if she is some one--or some thing--else?  This play does not go overboard in giving answers.  Rather it asks fascinating questions and gives hints--much as genuine encounters with the uncanny seem to.  Here we have a story that fascinates because it is a puzzle wrapped up in human desires frustrated, yet the "solution" is only another puzzle, one (maybe) more fascinating than the first.

Siren Call has been granted an extension, so can be seen  Sunday July 7, 2019 at 9:30pm at the McFadden Theatre 1157 N. McFadden Place (one block east of Highland, one block north of Santa Monica Blvd) in Hollywood.

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