what's so easy in the evening, by the morning is such a drag Mar 21, 2009

by Tania Kupczak

I woke up confused, after a night of dreams delivered directly from City of Lost Children. When I went to sleep, I was feeling pretty good and had enjoyed, but not been terribly moved by, Theatre Replacement's That Night Follows Day. The show is like a Greek chorus without a plot, a technique which impressed, bored, mesmerized and released me (in that order). The 17 actors are no doubt talented and fully committed to their kid-ness, but one tiny girl kept distracting me with her strangely adult postures, haircut and intense stares. As a grown-up without any kids of my own, I left the show entertained and pleasantly surprised by the kids' focus and ability to carry out Tim Etchells's sweetly loaded script. But that's about all I felt. Until this morning, when I realized two important things: 1. I have a pattern of becoming obsessed with films, books, plays, and other creative expressions that describe the tipping point between childish naiveté and often-melancholy realization of the weight of adulthood. 2. The kids in That Night Follows Day were talking to me after all. I am a guilty bystander. I am not immune to the accusations they leveled at the audience. Likewise I have been a participant in their care-taking and victories. The sequence of dream-hauntings pushed me to a different relationship with last night's experience. I now recognize the subtext of this performance, in the craft of Etchells's words and Theatre Replacement's staging. I'm significantly more bummed out today than I was post-show, but also buoyed by a new human sympathy for the pains of growing up. - Tania