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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 28, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 17
ArtsWest presents Frozen

A bone chilling story of remorse, grief, and unsettling compassion
Arts & Entertainment
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ArtsWest presents Frozen

A bone chilling story of remorse, grief, and unsettling compassion

by Paul Torres - SGN Contributing Writer

FROZEN
ARTSWEST
Through May 14


Frozen is the most challenging production I've seen at ArtsWest. It's refreshing to see they are up for this challenge. Mathew Wright directs Bryony Lavery's chilling to the bone story of remorse, grief, and unsettling compassion. A trio of top-notch performances do what they can to warm up Lavery's somber examination of the converging emotional routes of a serial killer, the mother of one of his victims, and a psychiatrist studying his mad ways.

The story is set in the U.K. and is structured as three separate soliloquies intertwined together. A noted, but very emotionally distraught psychiatrist embarks on her trip to England to begin her study of the forgiveness of serial killers, then said serial killer recounts the unflinching tales of his lurid life, and then a sad mother recounts through casual conversation the day on which her daughter disappeared on the way to her grandmother's house.

I admire the complex details of Amy Thone's performance as the distressed mother who gradually comes to accept the actions of her daughter's killer. The chilling nature of Peter Crook's stellar performance as Ralph, a pedophile and murderer, who seemingly comes to terms with horrific deeds, is one of this season's best. As Agnetha, Jonelle Jordan is remarkable in the role as a psychiatrist probing the roots of the mental anomalies behind such killers' desires and motivations. An undercurrent of madness lurks on some level for every character and this drives this gripping drama.

The stylized set is lit in tones of stone gray with three separate stages for each actor to recount their respective stories. They eventually jump to these stages, like hopscotching iceberg to iceberg, and reach out to each other. Scenic designer Christopher Mumaw and lighting designer Ryan Dunn deserve kudos for their work, which leave a darkly beautiful lasting impression.

The title Frozen alludes to the psychological states of all three characters. Although the characters speak about their states of being frozen and their respective thaws, it's a far stretch to say that complete emotional ground is covered here. However, with it's talented acting, ArtsWest's production has enough fire in it to be worthy of a visit.

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2017 Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival - May 4-14
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ArtsWest presents Frozen

A bone chilling story of remorse, grief, and unsettling compassion

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