Monday, March 28, 2011


VAPARAISO…quite a trip at convergence continuum

VALPARAISO, convergence continuum's newest production, asks, “What happens in this age of instant and continual news when a minor incident goes viral?”

Due to the sudden illness of a fellow employee, Michael Majeski, a corporate manager, embarks on a business trip to Valparaiso, Indiana. But, due to a series of serendipity events, he finds himself flying to Valparaiso, Florida, then on to Valparaiso, Chile. That's the entire plot! And, for many that would be the end of things. However, due to the need for news agencies to find “THE” story, Majeski's journey becomes big news. He appears on international radio and television explaining his plight over and over and over.

The convergence-continuum production intertwines live performance, video and vocal sounds, to create an on-going look at how modern media operates. The show climaxes in a bizarre conclusion, which if revealed here would spoil the experience for theatre-goers. So, it is enough to conclude with a play on Shakespeare--“alls not well that ends not well.”

Don DeLilillo's script is a series of short snippets of media interviews interspersed with dialogue. Questions, often answered with questions, repetitions of key phrases, and word play, highlight the writing format. The absurdity of the media and each person's fifteen minutes of fame, are all highlighted.

This is a typical con-con play, a challenge to the imagination and sensibilities of their niche audience.

Though there are many highlights, including wonderful performances by Lucy Bredeson-Smith as a talk show host, and Curt Arnold as her sidekick and several very, very funny commercial interludes, the production fails to fully ignite. Stumbling over lines and failing develop a clear character, Clint Elston (Majeski) gives the production a flawed underbelly. In addition, the playing time is too long. This would have made a good one-act, but two full acts, with an intermission, is just too long to develop the fragile concept.

Capsule Judgement: VALPARAISO is an interesting script which will evoke reactions in those tired of the protracted coverage of “the royal wedding,” “the death of Michael Jackson” and all the events that get media overkill. In spite of some excellent performances, the show needed cutting and a stronger leading male.