This is theatre for theatre’s sake. Not big. Not flashy.
This is storytelling at its best.
Three established actors telling three intriguing stories, wrapped in mystery and spiced with enough comedy to lighten the mood when things get…well…deadly.
Each of the scenes in Three Viewings is a separate monologue; each set in a funeral home and loosely tied to the others, with distinct characters telling the story of the person who has brought them there. And it’s not always the story that is expected.
Emil (Roger Fristoe) is a funeral director. He looks death in the face every day. So it is not the end of life that he fears; it is the end of love.
Mac (Kim Butterweck) robs dead people. She attends viewings and steals the jewelry right from the bodies. But this time, she’s been called home for the funeral of one of her own—do circumstances make a difference or is death just another business opportunity?
Virginia (Susan McNeese Lynch) has lost her husband. She’s now a widow. But at least she has her friends and can live comfortably on what her husband Ed has provided for her. Or can she?
At first glance, a play comprised of individual half-hour monologues might seem like a less than thrilling theatrical experience.
But these pros take those long chunks of text and develop stories that absorb both themselves and the audience. Fristoe has a genuinely sweet charm about him. Butterweck is a chameleon, edgy and dry one minute; reduced to emotional tears the next. And McNeese Lynch can captivate an audience for 30 minutes without once even getting up from her chair.
The performances take place at the new Vault1031, (1031 South Sixth Street) recently purchased by long-time theatre veterans Barbara Cullen and Jon Huffman. The space, which was formerly home to an armored car vault, is in the infancy of its renovation towards Cullen and Huffman’s goal of creating a vibrant artistic center, complete with a state of the art 150-seat theatre, coffee bar, art gallery and broadcasting booth. The pair has already completed construction of a full-size dance studio and says that many local companies, like Eve, are excited about the much-needed rehearsal and performance space.
Three Viewings, produced by Eve Theatre Company, continues today, March 8, at 7:30 and runs through March 16. Tickets are $22/19 and are available at the door, online or by calling 502-759-1912. Discount tickets are available for the March 16 performance, sponsored by the West Saint Catherine Neighborhood Association, by using a coupon found on Eve’s website.
Image: Courtesy of Eve Theatre Company