Reviewed by Sara Eisenbaum
The connection to Greek tragedy that is at the heart of the play is clear from the first moment the characters enter scene one. The dysfunction that is present is at once comforting to an audience member as they connect with the dramatic interplay of individuals who have been scorned, left and lost. As well the clear rise and fall of the traditional Greek climax is there as a grounding point in many ways; a guide throughout the play. The emotional setting of the play is tense and often it’s hard not to look away during moments that seem private but are meant for other’s enjoyment. In some ways the play is comparable to that new trend in reality TV where there is no longer a boundary between their world and ours, and the invitation to spend every waking moment with someone else’s trauma instead of our own is rather disturbing yet strangely delightful. The real standout of the play was the set design. It was simplistic and unchanging which connected well to the motif being presented with the characters. It’s a broader statement (of course this could just be the fumbles of a muddled mind) about the unchanging nature of humanity, and on closer inspection the modern family. You have separation and resentment and the play is a testament to watching that resentment unfold. The characters for the most part use the idea of resentment to portray true and honest sentimentality. There are times when the diatribes, monologues, and needy pleading become overwhelming and lose the true essence of the thematic motion of the play, but overall “The Water’s Edge” pulls the audience into a scenario that is at once relatable yet a work of art onto itself.
At The Raven Theatre Complex, 6157 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL
Written by Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Robert Tobin
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm Sundays at 3:30pm
For more information, visit http://www.raventheatre.com/special-events