Terribly doleful; simply amazing

Terribly doleful; simply amazing

Posted by: Daetriana Burks-Reed at 10/14/2013 05:30 PM

From characters to set design, Goodman Theatre’s “Smokefall” is doleful yet still great. “Smokefall” has many scenes that make the viewer want to cry and some that make the viewer want to laugh. “Smokefall” is a very emotional play that tugs at your feelings.  Violet’s (Katherine Keberlien) pain is felt. Daniel’s (Eric Slater) depression is wonderfully shown in the actor’s facial expression and mournful voice. The play’s dysfunctional family can relate to so many other families. The fact that this play displays the daily but hidden problems of a broken family makes “Smokefall” sad and loving.

Beauty (Catherine Combs) is arguably the most interesting character in the play. She is mute through half of the play and doesn’t eat human food. Beauty is such a caring character. Her motive for being mute and eating inhuman food is to save her family. Beauty’s sacrifices for her family make her an extraordinary character. Because Beauty is mute for much of the play, when she finally talks, she sends the audience into awe.

Even the stage design of “Smokefall” is amazing. The stage is set up just like a home. Violet is actually cooking on the stove during the play. The stage design makes you feel as if you’re watching a family in its reality and not a staged play. The set even has an apple tree implanted into the house.

“Smokefall” is about a broken family living in Rapids, Michigan.  The husband is depressed. The wife is pregnant with twin boys, and the couple’s daughter doesn’t talk and she eats bark and earth with a side of paint to wash them down.  Violet’s father doesn’t even know who she is half the time. This family, like any other family, ignores their problems and pretends that they are happy and everything is OK.

In the first part, the family is split. However, during the second half, the alive members of the family come back home. Beauty breaks her long strike of silence and tells the crazy yet beautiful adventure she has looking for something that has never left home.

“Smokefall” is an hour and 40 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. Showtimes are through October 5 - November 3, 2013 In the Owen. Tickets cost between 86 and up. The play is family friendly, except for one scene involving death which may cause teary eyes and shocked faces.“Smokefall” also uses very advanced vocabulary, so reading the playbill’s vocabulary is recommended. The play is sad,  but it still gives off a theme that love always prevails over problems and brings the one you love back home.

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