SEEING EACH OTHER: A (RE)VISIONARY BLIND DATE
nytheatre.com review by Ivo Tomasini
Seeing Each Other: a (re)Visionary
Blind Date, directed by Karla Faulconbridge, is a tale of two
lesbians who meet for a blind date in a Toronto restaurant. The story’s
slow start, repetitive dialogue, and dim lighting immediately set a drab
tone that leaves one with a feeling of disengagement that lasts
throughout the play. The production, however, is not completely without
moments that command the audience’s interest. These interludes are
well-crafted, whimsical, cleverly edited short video sketches that
appear sporadically throughout the performance. Shot in the classic
silent film style by Anne Doelman, each vignette is projected on a wide
screen (with an array of ‘80s pop music used as a back drop) to
illustrate the emotional/political concerns or lack thereof between the
two protagonists for one another.
August 15, 2002
Another highlight is a surreal moment captured by the enigmatic, Fellini-like persona of ed fielding (spelled in lower case). He plays the Waiter who, for unclear reasons, perhaps as an oddball/abstract device, lip synchs to a pre-recorded message on a hand-size tape player the synopsis of the story we are about to see. His long, wiry body; his deep, luring, monotone voice; and his frizzled eyebrows sprouting from his narrow head add a sense of intrigue and wonderment to his speech. Unfortunately, the mystique cast by fielding’s Waiter is soon lost in the play’s overdose of shifty and pedantic dialogue written by Sandra Alland and Heather Lash, who also double as the stars of the show. Unable to find a more creative use for the Waiter, Alland and Lash spend most of the script on chatty, superfluous dialogue that resurfaces many of the same topics of discussion from one scene to the next. Moments of clever, witty discourse do pop up every now and again, but the remainder of the time perpetuates the deflating hope for meaningful exchange between the viewer and the characters on stage.
The Raving Gaze production team, also run by the aformentioned actors, could use more time to really figure out what the purpose of Seeing Each Other truly is. Even the Waiter, at the very end, briefs the audience one more time with another lip synch epilogue that basically states what the audience, until this point, are feeling all along—untouched. This is a happy ending, states the Waiter, not one that you would expect. Like an interesting one?