Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ghost Light

Directed by Jonathan Moscone
Written by Tony Taccone
Scenic Design by Todd Rosenthal
Lighting Design by Christopher Akerlind
Casting by Nicole Arbusto/ Joy Dickson/ Amy Potozkin
Cast: Christopher Liam Moore, Danforth Comins, Robynn Rodriguez, Ted Deasy, Peter Frechette, Bill Geisslinger, Peter Macon, Isaac Kosydar, Tyler James Myers, Sarita Ocon.

It’s November 17th 1978, and the mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone, is about to attend a press conference to announce the newest member to join his board of supervisors. Dan White, who resigned the board and was now being replaced, enters the City Hall through a basement window and makes his way to Moscone’s office. After a heated argument, White shoots Moscone four times, twice in the head, and then proceeds to murder liberal city leader, Harvey Milk.

‘Ghost Light’ opens with George’s teenage son, Jon, finding out about his father’s death via news bulletin on the television. Adult Jon is struggling to move forward; he cannot close the doors on the ghosts that have been haunting him since the day his father died, and this is complicating all aspects of an upcoming production of ‘Hamlet’ that he is partly responsible for, as well as his social life and his job as an acting coach.

The real Jonathan Moscone approached Tony Taccone to help him create this production on his father; it’s a story for which an entire generation of San Francisco-ians have their own memories, thoughts and emotions. The audience are invited into Jon’s eccentric world and they watch as he goes through the motions of daily life, while being haunted by unusual spirits from the afterlife.  However, there wasn’t a very distinct story line, and there were many elements of the production that were confusing and unclear. For example, we witness the haunting of a spirit, who goes by the name of ‘Loverboy’, by another spirit who is dressed like a prison guard and who mocks and terrifies the former and demands he pass on a message to Jon, but it is never explained why he specifically choose to haunt another ghost instead of going directly to Jon like he does later on in the play. We also never find out if these spirits only appear in Jon’s dreams, if they are a memory, a series of hallucinations, or a combination of the above. Taccone’s witty and intelligent writing will keep you interested, but expect a very dream like production that doesn’t always make complete sense.

Christopher Liam Moore is such a detailed performer and his portrayal of Jon was humorous and captivating; the final scene especially was very moving. During the instances where he interacts with the audience, who temporarily take on the role of the students in his acting class, Moore was fearless, and it is highly noticeable that he has great energy on stage. He was supported by a strong cast, and the lighting and staging was fluid and effective.

A brave and thought provoking piece, slow at times, but enjoyable.

Performed at the Berkeley Repertoire Theatre

No comments:

Post a Comment