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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 28, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 04
One-woman K of D a light and creepy story
Arts & Entertainment
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One-woman K of D a light and creepy story

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

The K of D, an Urban Legend
Seattle Repertory Theatre
Through February 20


A one-woman tour de force is at Seattle Repertory, as Renata Friedman plays all the characters in a small town dealing with a fatal auto accident and its aftermath. Friedman has inhabited this role in K of D, an Urban Legend for a number of years, having been cast in a developmental process in 2006, and continuing as she and director Braden Abraham personally mounted a production here in 2008 and took it to the New York Fringe Festival. She is physically uniquely well constructed to play a gaggle of teenagers who hang out outside and repeat gossip and innuendo to each other.

Friedman's gangly body can easily portray a belligerent young boy or a budding femme fatale of 15. Her vocal range allows for distinct character voices from adult male to preteen female. She glides from one of the 17 characters to another and back again in this fun and almost creepy story.

The sumptuous sounds of Matt Starritt's sound design fill in the crickets of the evening, the drip of the stream, the miming of jars and cars and tools and assorted other effects. Subtle lighting by Robert J. Aguilar accentuates the narrative. A spare dock and river brush, designed by director Braden Abraham and L.B. Morse, give Friedman places to jump on and from, hide behind, and lean on.

In this environment, Friedman narrates as The Girl, an unnamed co-conspirator who is part of this pack of teens, but is she really telling a story about herself? You get to decide. The story is supposed to be an urban legend, though she points out that most urban legend actually happen in rural areas.

The facts are that a twin brother was hit by a car by a local asshole of a man who couldn't care less. As his twin sister holds his head in her lap, the boy kisses her just before he dies. The legend grows that everything the girl kisses dies - she has 'the kiss of death.' Oddities, like groups of small animals dying together, begin to occur. Does that have anything to do with Charlotte? The teens discuss various theories and gossip about town inhabitants.

It's a sort of ghost story, and you're around the campfire. You get to tease out what you believe. The script doesn't go very deeply into the lives of these people, and it's not designed to give much insight into living in a small town. The evening is most notable for watching the tremendous energy that Friedman puts into her performance. She makes it worth the effort to sort out who's doing the talking and what it all means.

For more information, go to www.seattlerep.org or call 206-443-2222.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

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