Famous painter Evelyn (Mary Cutler) is one of those left behind, but her stoic and business-like nature doesn't allow any insecurities or doubts to show. Her granddaughter Lucy (winningly portrayed by Adelin Phelps) is her exact opposite, wearing her heart and her doubts on her sleeve for the world to see. An art student, Lucy's whole world has collapsed with the rapture, including the disappearance of her "best performance friend forever" Sloane (Mason Mahoney). She bonds with Evelyn's assistant Eddie (Russ Dugger), and together with the eccentric neighbor Ann (Karen Bix, a hoot), they try to break through Evelyn's icy veneer. They convince her to go on the cable TV show hosted by Terry (Laura Leffler-McCabe) to defend herself and her art. Meanwhile, Evelyn is being visited by the ghost of her old friend, a characterization of real-life artist Thomas Kinkade (Carl Schoenborn), who's also helping her to work through her issues. In the end, I'm not sure that any of the questions are answered, but it's the asking and the working through them that counts.
|Adelin Phelps and Mary Cutler
The costume design (by Christina Forga) helps to create the characters, from Lucy's colorful and crazy wardrobe, to Evelyn's muted gray work clothes, to eccentric Ann's hippy skirts and sweaters, to TV host Terry's smart suits. The clean and precise set (designed by Shannon Morgan) fits Evelyn's manner - organized shelves with paints and brushes neatly aligned, her "gray" series of paintings (an homage to Rotho's reds?) hung evenly across the top. For the beach scene there's even real sand for Lucy to dig her toes into.
This was my first time attending a Savage Umbrella production, and I liked what I saw. A thought-provoking new play, solid cast, and all around well-done production. They also display art by local artists in the lobby, which adds to the evening of contemplating art. In the end, I couldn't help but think of my favorite musician Glen Hansard's Oscar acceptance speech - "Make art, make art!" (Rapture plays now through March 22.)