The 4 Seasons takes place at a hotel, in another pun on the name. Three employees (the wonderful trio Heidi Bakke, Joy Dolo, and Steven Epp) go about their work, discussing things mundane and profound. Scenes of them chatting while absentmindedly performing their daily tasks are interspersed with short musical selections. There's much discussion of the weather, which we Minnesotans understand well, having the most extreme change of seasons. Beginning in spring, the story continues through all four seasons, ending in the bitter disappointment of winter. I've often found myself saying what the characters say in the middle of winter - "I don't remember what summer feels like," and vice versa.
|Joy Dolo, Heidi Bakke, and Steven Epp
(photo courtesy of The Moving Company)
The set is a hotel room covered in sheets, with a carpet runner representing the hallway outside. Sheets are removed gracefully and we see the floor is green turf, one of the many whimsical touches. In one scene the character carry on a conversation while unclogging a sink (you don't want to know what clogged it!). A scene at the pool is particularly cleverly done. Characters are simply dressed in layers of black, white and gray. (Set design by Safa Sarvestanie and Dominique Serrand, costume design by Sonya Berlovitz).
If you've never seen The Moving Company's work, The 4 Seasons is a great introduction to the Chekhovian simple/profound stories they tell. And if you are already familiar with their work, this is another of their silly, moving, engaging creations. Continuing through December 2 at the Lab Theater in the Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.