The first of The Flea’s trio of new plays is The Electric Lighthouse, by Ed Hime. The title refers to a London Art House Cinema, a common bond between this group of friends and acquaintances. There are six characters, and they normally interact in various sets of 2. It is the type of story where happenstance meetings abound and each interaction multiplies the complexity of the story. Often times, these type of plays wrap everything up with a pat and happy ending. The Electric Lighthouse avoids the expected route, but is extremely satisfying in its conclusion.
The primary couple is Marie and Rick. They are an estranged couple with unresolved feelings still at play. As Marie, Margaret Odette carries much of the emotional heft of the show admirably. Ms. Odette is able to hold your attention whether in silence or at full throat. Even standing still, Ms. Odette’s Marie twitches with constrained energy. Rick, well played by Seth Moore, is no match for Marie. Rick is a slacker with dreams of success, but not the initiative to pursue them. Rick is emotionally younger than his years. He is confident in his sexual prowess and little else. Rick can’t really commit to Marie, until she breaks up with him. Mr. Moore and Ms. Odette have a natural rapport, honest in both tender and raw moments.
|Margaret Odette & Seth Moore in The Electric Lighthouse|
Kerri and Keith, Allison Buck and Jack Corcoran respectively, work or worked at the Electric Lighthouse Theater. For Kerri, the job is a step towards independence, her first job in London. For Keith, it is a safe haven and sanctuary from the city. Both Kerri and Keith need the sense of family the job provides.
Stephen Stout plays Chaz, a London hipster video artist (with an appalling choice in pants). Mr. Stout is the catalyst for a great deal of action, and he manages it with a light touch. His character is outgrowing his impishness, but isn’t sure what he is growing into. Glenna Grant plays Cynthia, the most adult of the characters. She has made it in London already, but life isn’t living up to her expectations.
The direction, by Kristan Seemel, was simple and well done. The action moved well and grew in intensity as the play progressed. The actors brought these characters to life, and made the audience care about them. All of the actors used a British Accent, with varying degrees of success and consistency. In a story about London, this makes sense, but a bit less cockney wouldn’t hurt.
Kat Foster does the Set Designer duties and creates a number of unique and recognizable spaces with a minimal amount of set changes. She has created an appropriate amount of space that these actors fill well.
The Electric Lighthouse is an excellent start to the Trio of new plays.
The Electric Lighthouse @ The Flea Theater
Playwright: Ed Hime
Director: Kristan Seemel
Cast: Margaret Odette, Seth Moore, Alison Buck, Jack Corcoran, Stephen Stout, Glenna Grant