"We have probably all felt broken and unlovable at some point, just as these characters have, but this show offers a message of hope that we can all take to heart" remarks Carlie Young, who plays Gertrude in Westminster College's production of The Sea Horse opening tomorrow (3/7/13).
Set in a waterfront bar, Gertrude and Harry carry on an unattached, purely physical affair that is riddled with the abrasiveness of the past and the uncertainty of the future. Gertrude, a brash and hardened bar owner entertains a relationship with the sentimental Harry, despite her inability to trust his intentions of settling down with her.
Together they talk, argue, drink, kiss, fight, make up, make out and fight some more. Surprisingly, for a show that is pretty much about the sexual relationship of these two, we see their emotional connection played out instead.
It would seem that playing opposites in a tumultuous relationship would require a strong connection and a certain level of trust between the actors. However, as Kelly Davis (who also play Gertrude) remarks "The only thing that is constant about this show is the inconsistency." She is not referring to the storyline here, rather the production itself as the director (Michael Vought) chose to cast 5 Gertrudes and 3 Harrys in a show that only has 2 roles. Before the production each night, Vought literally draws from a hat who will be going on stage and what scene they will be playing and this tidbit is revealed to the audience and actors at the same time. Meaning, the relationships, chemistry and connections change often throughout the night and is never the same night to night. Where one couple leaves off half way through act one, the second couple steps in to take the reins. Davis goes on to say that this "takes true and honest listening, which is a skill I've really had to hone on this show."
The night promises to be unique and unexpected as the actors discover their connections and relationship on stage, just as they would in real life using drama leveraged in humor and the unexpected. So if the story isn't enough to entice you, the additional element of a unique evening should spark your interest.
But don't just take my word for it, one of the actors playing Harry (Nikola Muckajev) recommends this show because "Aside from the unique way in which we cast it and are performing it, I believe The Sea Horse is one of the most underrated modern works. It gives the audience a love story - but one with realistic, flawed characters that don't necessarily fit into the romantic genre. It showcases love as a primal force of nature that can be nasty and messy and not just rose petals and sweet perfume."
The Sea Horse is playing at Westminster College through March 16, 2013. Tickets can be purchase for $10 online or by calling (801) 832-2457.