Blind Spot a unique world premiere
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Blind Spot a unique world premiere
by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Blind Spot
Annex Theatre
Through February 14


You'll need to hurry to see Blind Spot, the current world premiere production at Annex Theatre, since it closes Saturday night. If you do, you'll experience a truly unique story about a little girl who magically shrinks down to be able to find and visit with the people (?) who live under the bed, between the couch cushions, and even in the light fixtures. The title suggests that if we just activate our blind spots, we all could see these beings.

The play unfolds somewhat slowly, and, in an odd and increasingly interesting choice, the 8-year-old girl speaks with incredibly sophisticated language. Let's back up a bit. The structure of the story is that an 8-year-old girl is doing some sort of radio documentary show, interviewing the characters she finds on her journey. She begins this on a bare stage with a long table, where the characters also sit, talk into microphones, but face forward to the audience. Eventually (about 45 minutes later), they start moving around and acting out the story in a more theatrical normalcy.

You should know that the first act is almost an hour and-a-half long all by itself. That could wear you out, but the second act is where the payoff is. So, do try to hang in there. In subsequent productions, it would be good to really trim down the first act, catering to an easier audience experience, without losing any of the important "setup" information.

Essentially, we meet the Potts family under the bed and then others in their "planet" and we get to know the backstories. Iota Potts (Joe Feeney), for instance, the teenager, is in love with Aura Rotter (Alissa Mortensen). Once they have run away, not together, into their wide world, we follow them in their various adventures and witness when they meet each other again.

Jennifer Pratt is the 8-year-old Kirsty Vanderkamp. Pratt is an amazing actress, able to convey all sorts of emotional states just by raising an eyebrow or furrowing her brow. She is seriously enveloped into this 8-year-old's life. Others in the cast, most with multiple characters, help supportively with the story, including Sara Balcaitis, John Bianchi, Daniel Christensen, San Hall, Ellie McKay and Seanjohn Walsh. The minimal sets give your imagination a good workout, filling in the sights as they are described.

Kirsty, in this imaginative world, is exposed to many life stories and adult concepts that 8-year-olds maybe shouldn't even know about. Whether that's a good idea or a realistic portrayal of an 8-year-old's active imagination is a matter of speculation. What appears to be the reason for the whole journey is the breakup of Kirsty's parents' marriage. An off-kilter young girl tries to figure out what makes her life upended, why adults do what they do, and if any of it makes sense.

The second act is more affecting than the first, and connects on a more emotional level. You become less spectator and care more about Kirsty and her heartache. For more information, go to www.annextheatre.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.