Death Becomes Him: 'Expecting to Fly' at Elephant Space

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Justin Mortelliti and Casey Kringlen in 'Expecting to Fly' (photo by Mark Barnes)

Michael Hyman's touching new play, Expecting to Fly, is playing at Elephant Space. This bittersweet story of both love and loving deals with the struggle to find meaning within a fragile existence. Hyman depicts Sean and Jared, two lost souls navigating through life and death, marriage and widowhood, while teetering on the margins of the metaphysical abyss. Through distinctive performance, artful direction and graceful staging, Expecting to Fly merges regret, longing, affection, memory, appreciation, warmth and absolution into a single gem of a play.

Expecting to Fly's cast of two gives a flawless performance that oozes with gritty charm. Casey Kringlen actualizes the role of Sean with refined form. Kringlen's coy and insistent delivery pulls the audience into Sean's fading psyche, making it easy to become emotionally involved with the romantic sincerity of his character. Justin Mortelliti portrays Jared with insightful sophistication and raw energy. Mortelliti is mesmerizing as he transitions Jared away from unforgiving bitterness into a sad, but redemptive peace.

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Justin Mortelliti and Casey Kringlen in 'Expecting to Fly' (photo by Mark Barnes).
Kiff Scholl's discerning direction is smooth, full of movement, and utterly gracious. Hyman's writing is flowery but provocative. The lighting design by Matt Richter is inspired and elegant. Set design by Keith Mitchell and costuming by Shannon Kennedy are thoughtful and full of attention-grabbing surprises. Simply put, Expecting to Fly is a truly lovely and gratifying expression of humanness and love.

Expecting to Fly is playing at Elephant Space through March 4. Tickets are $20 and available online or via phone at 323-960-5772.