GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES
April 27-May 20, 2012
www.ensemble-theatre.com or call 216-321-2930
Much like Rajiv Joseph’s ”Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist that takes place during the Gulf War, the two characters in “Gruesome Playground Injuries” are trapped within their own personal cages. And while the Gulf war serves as a powerful reminder of the self-destructive nature of the human animal—a nature from which there is no clear or viable release—nothing drives this point home any better or more dramatically than watching Doug (Dan Folino) and Kayleen (Celeste Cosentino) attempt to escape their ill-fated, accident-prone destinies.
To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's News-Herald article here.
Ensemble Theatre again takes on a Rajiv Joseph script. Though, due to some staging decisions, it is not as audience engaging as it could be, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES is a thought provoking concept, that is filled with pathos.
Making this funny, sad play so appealing is the ingenuousness of the characters, played with unflinching honesty and realism by the two actors. It never becomes cutesy or artificial; you feel for these loveable losers from the get-go.
To see a full review of this show, read Fran Heller's review at the Cleveland Jewish News
There are eight scenes that attempt to capture the relationship of Doug and Kayleen from ages 8 to 38, and some resonate with depth, subtlety, and dark humor. But Ensemble's two-person cast is not consistently well matched, leaving other scenes lacking in both visceral impact and thematic heft.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at Cleveland Scene.
In “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” the characters’ injuries haven’t caused their failures, and yet they have allowed themselves to be defined by them. Unfortunately, a great concept and succinct writing are complicated by choppy pacing. Despite its tragic tone and the difficulties of wardrobe and makeup changes, the drama is gripping and lingers in your mind.
To see a full review of this show, read Marjorie Preston's blog or visit Cleveland.com here.