THE LOUDEST MAN ON EARTH is stunning at TheatreWorks

 

Haylee (Julie Fitzpatrick) and Jordan (Adrian Blue) share a tender moment in Catherine Rush’s unconventional romantic comedy THE LOUDEST MAN ON EARTH, receiving its World Premiere at TheatreWorks  July 10 – August 4, 2013  at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.

THE LOUDEST MAN ON EARTH: Romantic Comedy by Catherine Rush. Directed by Pamela Berlin. WORLD PREMIERE. TheatreWorks at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1395 Middlefield, Palo Alto, CA. 650-463-1960 or www.theatreworks.org.  July 10 — August 4, 2013

THE LOUDEST MAN ON EARTH is stunning at TheatreWorks

The end of TheatreWorks 2012-2013 season is a heart gripping tour de force by 4 actors with the deaf Adrian Blue giving a superlative performance as his stage character Jordan negotiates the world of sound while in love with a non-deaf woman Haylee played superbly by Julie Fitzpatrick.  The play was a runaway hit of the 2012 New Works Festival where Blue and Fitzpatrick were joined by Cassidy Brown and Mia Tagano for those staged readings. That team is kept together for this fully staged World Premiere as an introduction to the 2013 New Works Festival that begins at the Lucie Stern Theatre in August.

This review has a very personal slant since, as a retired Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, the problems encountered by the protagonist Jordan were experienced by many of my patients.  There is an added interest considering that my first 1964 published medical article is entitled “The World of Silence.”

There is a semi-autobiographical bent to the play since Adrian Blue is married to the author Catherine Rush and they most certainly have encountered some of the obstacles faced by the onstage couple. Further, like the character Jordan, Adrian Blue is an accomplished theatrical director, actor and writer. A visit to the Palo Alto theatre will be instructional as well as heartwarming and entertaining.  The opening night audience responded with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Haylee is a dynamic journalist sent to interview the deaf Jordan who is rehearsing his cast for an upcoming production.  That interview sets the

Adrian Blue delivering a monolog

tone for the play as the two strong personalities slowly begin to understand each other as romance blossoms.  Jordan is the narrator and between the multiple scenes using American Sign Language (ASL) adding facial and body language “speaks” volumes to the audience.  You will be astounded that you are able to “hear’ what he is saying.

After a three month courtship they move in together and the problems arrive about adjusting to the hearing world around them.  Although many deaf persons learn to speak their speech patterns are distinctively different and proud Jordan has refused to learn and humorously describes himself as an “oral failure.”  Not only he an oral failure but a Jewish oral failure. That leads to a dramatic twist later in the play.

Cassidy Brown and Mia Tagano who play all the other roles are listed as Men and Women and perfectly portray the various personalities that entwine with the lives of Jordan and Haylee. They become police officers, the upper-class parents of Haylee, the Jewish parents of Jordan, insensitive friends, oriental waiters and others. Their masterful changing of costumes (Tanya Finklestein) and personalities is aided by the ingenious sliding paneled set (Jason Simms) that gives the illusion of being askew reflecting the skewed interaction of deaf and hearing world.

The evening is a total package of everything a theatrical production should be – a charming well written story, perfect acting, brilliant direction, ingenious staging while being highly instructional. What else could a theatre goer ask for? Running time is 90 minutes without intermission.  A must, must see production.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of www.theatreworldinternetmagazine.com

Adrian Blue as “Jordan” delivers several silent monologues

Haylee (Julie Fitzpatrick) and Jordan (Adrian Blue) share
a tender moment in Catherine Rush’s unconventional
romantic comedy THE LOUDEST MAN ON EARTH,
receiving its World Premiere at TheatreWorks
July 10 – August 4, 2013

at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.

Photo credit: Tracy Martin