Great cast in intriguing Bone Portraits
 

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posted Friday, November 13, 2009 - Volume 37 Issue 46

Great cast in intriguing Bone Portraits
by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Bone Portraits
Live Girls! Theater
Through November 14


Bone Portraits, the intriguingly named play now running at Live Girls! Theater in Ballard, turns out to be an intriguing play, as well. It's a combination vaudeville and character-history presentation that uses late 18th-century humor to illuminate the beginnings of our modern technology. Picture Thomas Edison as a county fair barker, claiming to be equal parts inventor and showman. Ray Stanton does a great job as master of ceremonies Edison as he introduces the accidental inventor of the x-ray machine (a sometimes manic and funny Jason Franklin), and a pair of vaudevillians (Franklin and the elegantly silly Shawnmarie Stanton). There is story here, though, with Edison's assistant, Clarence Dally (Adam Davis) so enamoured of x-rays that he x-rays his hand into getting amputated. Dally's romance with Josephine (LaChrista Borgers, with lovely turn-of-century manners) develops his character to show his innocence and fervent passion for science.

No one knew how dangerous x-rays and radiation would be as no one had ever identified them before. This theme is amplified by the inclusion of Marie Curie, who experimented with radium and infected herself and her children with over-exposure to radiation. Curie (Borgers again) gets reconnected with her dead husband through a carnival fortune-teller. We can assume that he died from radiation poisoning, as well. The dangers of, and our fascination with, new inventions are displayed in Bone Portraits in a way that subtly exposes both.

Meghan Arnette directs the adept cast. The set by Grant Laine is versatile and period-establishing, and the most amazing crank-music box is found that exactly compliments the production. Costumes by Michele Hallman are beautifully period, and look sumptuous on what was likely a small budget. Light design by Mike Lindgren displays the new technology of electricity with specificity and elan. Choreography by Mimi Katano is essential to the evening's success.

For more information, go to www.livegirlstheater.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.



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