Billed as a ‘modern day Our Town,’ barebones productions opened Miki Johnson’s American Fallsthis weekend to multiple sold out audiences. Johnson’s story tells the small town of America Falls, the tragic tale of a misguided family and how it becomes connected within the whole community. Eight characters help to tell the grim account, and provide a true idea of what it is like to live in a small western town.
Billy Mound of Clouds (Leandro Cano), a Native American shoe salesman, is featured as the narrator and community busybody. Billy sets the story in motion and gets you acquainted with the rest of the ensemble cast, a bartender, a local drunk, and the town sociopath. Through a series of monologues each character gets to give their own description of the town and the own place within the community. Johnson uses poetic and striking imagery to give life to a town we never see.
Patrick Jordan, founding Artistic Director of barebones productions and director of American Falls, brings together a magnificent cast and pairs it cohesively with the simplistic design that barebones is known for. Connor McCanlus (Samuel) captivatingly brings to life a man on the edge of a breakdown, and allows the audience to follow every calculating word he mutters to his son. Liz Hammond (Lisa) simply informs the viewer that she has recently committed suicide and delicately enlightens us why she made such a tough decision leaving her son alone with her abusive husband. Cary Ann Spear (Samantha) does a wonderful job at shedding light on her son’s upbringing and tries to justify his later actions.
Jordan, also billed as the production’s set designer utilizes small snippets of rooms to give the illusion of five different locales. Andy Ostrowski brings life to Jordan’s set with his lighting design and helps to create the distinct spaces with simple isolation.
American Falls is the premiere show at barebones new black box space in Braddock. Although the space is not quite completed, it was a great insight into what is to come for barebones as whole. The show (and all Friday and Saturday productions) featured a preshow reception with food by soon-to-be restaurant Superior Motors and libations by local companies.
American Falls runs through May 31st at barebones new space at 1211 Braddock Ave, Braddock. Tickets are $30 for Thursday and Sunday performances and $55 for Friday and Saturday shows with the preshow reception. Please go out and support this great show, and get some great snacks while you do. Tickets can be purchased at barebonesproductions.com.
Thank you to barebones productions for the two complimentary press tickets for the May 15 performance of American Falls.
Performance Date: Friday, May 15, 2015
Categories: Archived Reviews