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The characters in Meredith Taylor Parry’s drama “Shark Attack” try to hide or at least disguise their scars.
Shark Bite tells the story of a troubled urban teen and her rural grandfather trying to close the gap between generations. Ava (Maesy Dennie) was sent to the wilderness of Alberta to spend a week with her grandfather George (Robert Klein) while her parents were on vacation. It wasn’t difficult for Ava to visit a rustic hut because they had a special bond when her grandmother was alive-something that doesn’t exist with her grandfather.
Ava, a young vegan of the Crusaders, thinks her trap grandfather is ruthless and can’t understand why she seems so negative to everything.
In the first third of the play, some good topics when Ava discovered that there was no WiFi in the cabin and called the friend she was trying to reach “they” instead of him or her. There is humor. Ava refused to eat the pheasant soup made by George, and she insisted that she wouldn’t eat anything she once had a face on.
Ava and George actually live in different worlds, but at least he agrees to take her to a library with WiFi if she goes on a nature hike with him. I’m trying to show her the beauty of his world. It was because of what happened on the hike that Ava and George lost all their defenses and literally and figuratively revealed their scars.
The set of Bianca Guimara Es de Manuel with a surreal forest where the actors move in front of the cabin looks like a hike, but Sharkbite feels more like a movie than a play.
Klein is a veteran actor and his richly nuanced performance helps to give the play the gravity that Taylor Parry and Chantelle Han are trying to orchestrate. They deal with a headache about self-esteem and self-image that can easily slip into a soap opera if Klein doesn’t fix the story to the required reality.
Denny is a match against Klein in the early scenes, but he can’t make a girl’s brush to believe his grandfather’s mortality rate. Her reaction lacks real emotions, so the play doesn’t have a perfectly intended effect, but there’s still a lot to talk to the audience.
Shark Bite will run at the Lunch Box Theater until May 29th.
Review: The gap between generations filled by the subtle performances of the lunchbox drama
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