Tuesday, March 27, 2007

402: Guest Review: Garrett Zuercher's "Judgment Day"

Last night I had various personal committments and couldn't go see a reading of Garrett Zuercher's "Judgment Day," accordingly, I asked Erfo to give her take on the show!
Judgment Day passed without incident: chairs weren't shoved aside, an empty bottle of seltzer water was left undisturbed behind a chair, and the audience was captivated. If Garrett Zuercher has written worthier productions, luckily this was my first. In fact, donning blue metallic Lycra was the hardest decision I made last night.

Though it was hard to determine which parts were song (if watching a voice actor was my idea of fun, I would have tracked the chanting, which in itself was bizarre)—Judgment Day is after all a musical—I found my eyes riveted to what I would normally discard as another Deaf theatre experience that smacked of trying too hard and eludicating too little. Most of the voice actors were instructed to be more English in their signing; that unfortunately worked only when I lipread. The room was small so I was close enough for the luxury. Anne Tomasetti carried the reading. Unlike a story unfolding onstage, this was a very direct connection with the audience, but I can only imagine a heightened experience seeing the musical. Darren Fudenske also leapt into excellence once he settled into character (a terrific multitasker!). Seasoned actors clearly took the stage and charmed the audience.

To feel my shoulders jog with amusement? Surprise of the year. A slipshod lipreading career and thick lenses do not normally a happy Deaf theater-goer make, nor do I understand anything in between ASL and English for sustained periods of time. A well-told story is one of my favorite things and for two hours I didn't evaluate how well I could feel my seat. Just don't ever try mint soda; chewing gum and bubbles can very nearly ruin a beautiful man's Channing-channeling number.
Thanks, Erfo! Anyone else see the show? And now off to another day in the great big city....

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