September 13, 2005 > A visit to the twilight zone
A visit to the twilight zone
by Heidi Leung
Jugger's Rain, written by Ronald Mark, is one of those odd, yet interesting pieces, not often presented. The story begins with Jugger, a country fellow, picking fruits off a strange-looking tree in front of his house. He tries to climb it, only to scream out in pain. The next morning, he sits on his porch, conversing with his mother about the tree. She thinks that the tree is creepy because its roots are wrapping around the house like a snake. However, Jugger confidently tells his mother that the tree is trying to hug them. Then out of the house come his three other siblings, the first is Sissy, a crippled dancer, the second is a pregnant Isbel and the last, Boogie, afflicted with Down Syndrome, thinks he is a genius.
The family begins to speak of another brother, Carney, who preaches on television and rants about spies and demons. Then the conversation switches to their father who has not yet returned home. The mother, dressed in her husband's favorite pink dress and a red wig speaks lovingly of him. An unflattering newspaper picture of the family sends Carney racing home. On his arrival, the family is forced to confront an unpleasant reality that their father/husband has died. A whirlwind of detail and mystery follows and it is at this point that the audience officially enters the twilight zone.
The casting at Broadway West was fantastic. Connections between characters sparkled resulting in a stunning performance. Jugger, Kevin Vermilion, through facial expressions made sure the audience felt his frustration and pain. Verity (the mother), played by Paula Chenoweth, was excellent; her eyes portrayed the disillusioned waiting-wife, and her scream during the intense exorcism scene brought tears to my eyes. Boogie, Todd Wright, was portrayed realistically and Sissy and Isbel, played by Siobhand Thompson and Dawn E. Cates evoked laughter and pity as they fought about their disabilities.
Dulcy, Carney's wife, played by Karene Daugherty was a breath of fresh air as she lit up the stage with her dreams of love, happiness and a free-spirited view of life. Kudos to Lee Watson for taking the role of Carney at the last minute and doing an excellent job. He played the selfish and bitter Carney well as he took us through the character's anger, confusion, and happiness. If you're in the mood to be surprised and intrigued, come watch this rare play. I highly recommend it.
Jugger's Rain, by Ronald Mark, is playing at Broadway West from September 9th through September 24th. It starts at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and on Thursdays September 15th and 22nd. On Sunday, 18th, it starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 and price of admission includes refreshments. For reservations, call (510) 683-9218. Broadway West Theater is located at 4000-B Bay Street in Fremont.
September 15 - 24
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.
Broadway West Theatre
4000-B Bay Street, Fremont