Lookingglass Theatre presents
Based on the screenplay by Andy Bellin and Rob Festinger
Thru May 9th
Running Time: One hour and forty-five minutes with no intermission
With texting and I.M.ing, flirting has never been easier! The internet makes grooming for a date optional. Having a connection advances the intimate nature of relationships in safe anonymity. Lookingglass Theatre presents the world premiere of TRUST, a play about the wi-fi seduction of a young girl. Annie is fourteen. She meets Charlie online. He's seventeen. Despite PWOMS (parenting watching over my shoulder), Annie builds a bond with Charlie through 24/7 access. He cheerleads her through soccer try-outs and awkward freshman parties. The intensity of their interactions climaxes with a face-to-face meeting. Charlie is thirty-five. TRUST is a contemporary play about the unsettling ease a sexual predator can enter a fourteen year old's bedroom and pluck her innocence.
Leading this phenomenal cast, Allison Torem (Annie) is the defiant victim. Vulnerable, confident, nervous, betrayed, desperate, her emotional range made me mist up... several times! Phillip R. Smith (Will) is the crazed father bent on revenge. Smith plays its obsessively helpless with a genuine paternal instinct. Amy J. Carle (Lynn) is trying to be the perfect mom. Her daughter's best friend calls her "Lynn" and has her number on speed dial. Although she is involved but not hovering, her daughter is still assaulted. From his unorthodox stage entrance moment, Raymond Fox (Glen Weston aka Charlie) creeps me out with his smiling normalcy. Under the direction of David Schwimmer and Heidi Stillman, this talented cast uses multiple roles to establish linkages between advertising and pornography, terrorist security and community safety, sex and rape.
A huge multi-media backdrop keeps TRUST contemporary. For a society meshed in instantaneous connections and pretty shiny things, stages across Chicago are embracing current technology to illustrate modern day themes (American Theatre Company's Distracted and The House Theatre's Wilson Wants It All). For TRUST, it's an engaging vehicle to set the tone. With minimal set changes, TRUST uses the visual technology to establish placement: young girl's bedroom, emergency room, motel room. For this particular show, it also effectively illustrates the unspoken seduction as Torem types onstage and the audience reads her words on the big screen. Texting has become such a natural part of life that the quietness of the reading audience doesn't feel weird.
Co-writer and co-director, Schwimmer has simultaneously produced the film version of TRUST. The translation will be interesting. On stage with a multi-media backdrop, TRUST is a cutting edge glimpse into the texting life of a teen. Without that "wow" effect in film, TRUST could become a Lifetime movie of the week. Whether you have kids or not, this is an important play to see on stage... TRUST me!
Texting her stranded young sister at the airport preshow, Jen describes the show as a "multi-media feat."
WAITING FOR THE SHOW
Post show and with a Groupon in my purse, we head to Bistro 110, 110 E. Pearson. We put our trust in the recommendations of our server, Nathan. He does not betray! Bistro 110 is doing a salute to French wines in the Rhone region. We enter into the Rhone celebration by sipping a hearty red with a soft finish. At Nathan's suggestion, we also enjoy a vegetarian based French onion soup. The pizza appetizer served with tossed greens is the perfect topper to complete the meal. Being old school, we are engrossed in face to face chat and don't notice the restaurant is empty. As the manager locks the door behind us, we LOL and head home!
*Lookingglass Theatre photographs coutesy of Sean Williams