Thursday, March 8, 2012
Two of Santa Cruz's best known and most dependable actors receive a gift of a play in the Jewel Theatre Company's new production of Athol Fugard's Hello & Goodbye—a gift that keeps on giving back to local audiences in this intense evening of dramatic theater. Played with both terrific brio and aching subtlety by Mike Ryan and Julie James, and directed by Bay Area theater veteran Jessica Heidt, Fugard's two-character drama emerges as an incisive, microcosmic look at family, class, and cultural dysfunction in the South Africa of the recent past.
The story is set in 1965, the year in which the play was written: Nelson Mandela had just been sent to prison, apartheid policies were in full flower, and the white Afrikaner minority was struggling to maintain its political control over an increasingly rebellious population. But the viewer doesn't have to know anything about South African history or politics to be moved by the core tale of fractured family dynamics as a pair of adult siblings confront each other, themselves, and the twisted legacy inherited from their parents. (Read more)