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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 05
Really Really examines digital generation's #WorstNightEver
Arts & Entertainment
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Really Really examines digital generation's #WorstNightEver

by Paul Torres - SGN A&E Writer

REALLY REALLY
ARTSWEST
Through February 14


That awful day after a wild rager (a larger gathering usually of high school or college students where massive amounts of alcohol are consumed) is never the best of times in college. The headache, the nausea, the anxiety of what you said, what you did, or what you posted is not a good feeling. Really Really examines the aftermath of such a night, from the woozy morning after to the life changing consequences in the days that follow. ArtsWest's production of Really Really is a powerhouse of soul and nerve.

As the play opens, drunken roommates Leigh (impressively played by Jessi Little) and a bleeding, giggly Grace (a refreshingly talented Annelih Hamilton) stumble into their kitchen after attending a party. They toss their clothes, purses, and shoes and rush off to bed. However, something is a bit off.

We quickly shift to the next morning at the scene of the house party. The room has a well-tapped keg, beer cans scattered, red Solo cups everywhere, and disheveled furniture. The perpetual shirtless and energetic Cooper (an impeccable Joshua Chessin-Yudin, last seen in ArtsWest's My MaƱana Comes) and Davis (an excellent Riley Shanahan) are in post-party hangover mode.

Cooper is trying to get the details of what Davis did the night before with their guest Leigh, but Davis just wants to study for his impending exam. Their reserved and somewhat ornery friend Johnson (Frederick Hagreen, last seen in ArtsWest's American Idiot) is on the couch playing video games and claims he left early and does not know what happened at the party. Finally, Cooper literally wrestles and gleans some murky information from Davis and this sets into motion the startling circumstances of this play. Something happened in the bedroom, either a sexual conquest or something more horrible.

We quickly shift again back to the kitchen where privileged jock Jimmy (Jordan Taylor in a strong performance) returns from a family trip to his girlfriend Leigh. When he finds out about Leigh and Davis, he is incensed. A sudden visit by Leigh's sister, Haley (strikingly played by Anna Kasabyan) adds tension and even a bit of levity to ground the drama.

A subplot with Grace, giving a PowerPoint presentation for Future Leaders of America, effectively frames the 'me generation' construct of this story. The rest of the plot intertwines in such a way that any description would give away the story. This taut and unsettling production totally engages the audience. You love the characters, you hate them, and you even empathize with them.

Written by Paul Downs Colaizzo, Really Really connects these characters' emotional and physical conflicts in an age where the cold circuits of modern technology reign. Colaizzo successfully imbues the subjects of privilege, class, betrayal, and ambition in this tidy script. Director Makaela Pollock brings it all together in a brisk and snappy fashion with intelligent, soulful, and sexy characters that are going through tricky and potentially life-altering circumstances. Pollack directs a talented cast who give amazing performances.

Although the story laser focuses on millennial culture, it actually transcends this notion and has traits that appeal to all generations. This production is filled with young people who have so much to win, but are on the cusp of losing it all. These tense dynamics make Really Really a true winner.

For more information and tickets, visit www.artswest.org or phone 206-938-0339.

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