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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 29, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 26
Frozen will thaw your cold, cold heart
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Frozen will thaw your cold, cold heart

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

FROZEN
GESAMTKUNSTWERK (AT BOOM! THEATRE)
Through June 29


A thought-provoking play about forgiveness is being presented by a small theater company with a very hard-to-pronounce name, Gesamtkunstwerk. 'That G Theatre,' as it's called instead, has taken on Frozen by Bryony Lavery, and is staging it in boom! theatre company's space (429 Fairview Ave. N.), where theatrical lights are hung on wires and fake walls are made from plastic sheeting. But don't judge the show by its production values.

This intriguing play about an unusual subject - serial killers and their effect on victims' families - is given a solid go. Director Dani Prados suddenly had to become one of the three actors, and he does a creditable job as a psychologist who has come from the United States to England to interview one of that country's imprisoned serial killers. She and a colleague have found solid links between brain injury - whether from accidents or child abuse - and the inability of serial killers to prevent their own bad behaviors.

This brain injury linkage may move serial killers from being horrible or evil people who choose to kill, to people who are so injured that they no longer understand or relate to the social mores and limitations that keep us safe from one another. Indeed, Ralph seems to have all the attributes and personal history to be included solidly in her study range.

Frozen, winner of a Tony Award in 2004, involves Nancy, the mother of an abducted and slain 10-year-old daughter, whose progress from 'frozen' (years of wondering where her daughter is and if she will come home) to forgiveness is chronicled along with Ralph and Agnetha, the researcher. In fact, each of the characters goes through a frozen and thawing stage, though whether the thaw produces something better in each life is questionable.

The play is long and angsty and, while generally smartly written, includes some unnecessary aspects. We learn at the end that Agnetha had a one-night stand with her colleague, something we don't really need to know. Ralph goes through an important transformation, but where he ends up feels unimportant. So, this nearly three-hour play could certainly be shortened to good effect. But oh, well, that's the script.

That 'G' Theatre's production might even be a bit overproduced, with a view of 'thawing' that seems busy and confusing, as Peter Frost's set is literally torn from the walls to reveal vines. But overall, the three actors do justice to the theme and, after one gets used to the British accents, also allow the strange English humor its place. This is not an easy play to tackle, and we can be glad that someone is presenting it for our delectation. It certainly offers something to think about.

For more information, go to www.thatgtheatre.com or call 888-887-3548. Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters.

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