Thursday, June 2, 2016

Prospect


In Octavio Solis’ play Prospect, Vince and Liza pick up Scout at a bar. Vince brings the two others home to meet his wife. Scout is intended to screen Vince’s relationship with Liza by appearing to be her date. Scout’s a bit of a dupe. But he and Vince’s wife, Elena, bond over being Hispanic and create a complex and subtle relationship.

Boundless Theatre Company gives us a first-rate production of this script. In the masterful hands of director Elena Araoz, every scene is vital, replete with conflict. The drama is fluid and intense. Indeed, she might have eased up on the intensity a bit from time to time if only to let us catch our breath.

The entire cast in this production is terrific – Oscar Cabrera as Scout, Keira Keeley as Liza, Cliff Rivera as Vince. Danielle Skraastad and Terrell Donnell Sledge play bar staff – and familiars of Vincent and Elena – with the same skill. The acting throughout is fluid and dynamic; the analysis is careful and specific.

Monica Steuer is particularly strong as Elena. Elena is dying of cancer, and Ms. Steuer incorporates this ingredient into the character on an elemental level. It informs her performance throughout. She gives a line as simple as “Some women, I swear to god!” and we hear in it the character’s entire life experience – and, incidentally, she makes us laugh with the line.

Mr. Solis is a very talented playwright. Some of the characters are flatly unlikable personalities, casual with marriage vows and with violence, but Mr. Solis makes us care about them. Unfortunately, he inserts a cheap, intrusive sex scene when he seems to be at a loss for another dramatic idea.

Congratulations to Boundless for this production. I’ll be waiting to see what the company offers next.
Steve Capra
May 2016