Claire (Lesley Hart) is a priest and director of a community choir that offers a home and a community for people who are searching for a place to feel welcome. Through a series of scenes, we learn that this "multiculturalism" became a target for a violent, revolutionary madman who sees this diversity as a threat to his country and way of life. Clifford Samuel plays "the boy," as well as every other character that Claire interacts with on her quest to understand the event - her partner Katrina, her therapist, the boy's friend and father, an author, a politician, and a shaman. He smoothly and seamlessly transforms from one character to another as he helps to tell what really is Claire's story, her story of trying to get her life back after this horrible incident. Will she be able to forgive and let go, or will she find a way to exact the revenge she dreams of?
|Lesley Hart and Clifford Samuel (photo by Dan Norman)|
Since one of the characters in this piece is the choir, of course there is music. Kudos to musical director Joe Bunker for working with a new choir every night and confidently leading them through not just the music, but also subtly directing them when to stand or move around the stage or speak. The night I attended, the choir was the Mindekirken choir, and they sounded just lovely singing traditional hymns and original songs (by John Browne). The closing song is particularly moving, the lyrics "and we're all here... we're all in here" sounding like a balm to the soul of the survivors.
These mass shooting events occur so frequently around the world, and especially in this country, that we almost become numb to them. The Events is one attempt to really examine and process a fictional event that feels all too real. (Four performances remaining on the Guthrie's Proscenium Stage.)