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Arts and Entertainment

Theater Review: Blood and Thunder

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Photo courtesy of Moving Arts

"Hello everyone. Please take your seats and, if you have not done so already, visit the restroom now" the chirpy usher announced from the center of the stage of the cozy Hyperion Station theatre.

"If you have to, please go now as there is no intermission and no access to our restroom once the show begins." As I gripped my complimentary ironic cheap beer, panic set in -- "Oh my G-d I'm going to have to pee so bad now! Damn those Mango margaritas at Casito Del Campo..damn them to hell! What happens if I can't hold it and I just pee, pee all over my seat. I'll be blacklisted from Los Angeles Theatre forever...."

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As I was imagining what kind of theatre they had in Rancho Cucamonga, my playmate Kaytlin leaned in with her epic words of wisdom, "If we forget we have to pee, then we'll know the plays is good."

Kayltin was referring to Terence Anthony's new play Blood and Thunder directed by Sara Wagner currently on an extended run at the Hyperion Station theatre. Focusing on a family in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Blood and Thunder addresses the various internal battles that can arise in times of natural disaster.

I was looking forward to seeing a play about Katrina like I look forward to getting a flu shot. I knew it was not going to be fun, but in the long run I'd kick myself if I didn't do it. Although Blood and Thunder won't having you rolling in the aisles, captivating performances and a dynamic plot structure (the play seamlessly flashes both backwards and forwards) will hold your attention with a firm but gentle grip.

Inconvenient, unapologetic and raw, Blood and Thunder and the Hyperion Station are a match made in heaven (aka the cupccake's from Delilah's). Visiting this theatre is like getting invited to the hottest Bat Mitzvah in town (you know, the one with the fire dancers.) The intimacy of the Hyperion Station makes you feel like you're a true VIP.

Blood and Thunder -- and all plays rooted in iconic tragedies -- are really all about the timing. Too soon and it can really explode; too late and well, sadly, we're on to the next awareness-raising calamity. Anthony creates quite a tragic post-Katrina world but really succeeds by matching it with an equally volatile pre-Katrina world. By having these realities co-exist on stage, the audience is forced to question how we emotionally process physical tragedy. As Marcus our (anti) hero proclaims in the opening scene, "This storm will make us all come clean", offering a fascinating metaphor I would've never absorbed from the nightly CNN reports.

As the lights came up i couldn't wait to hash out some of the emotions this play had brought out in me with Kaytlin (over another Mango Margarita at Casita Del Campo, of course.) "But first" she exclaimed, "Let's go pee!"

Blood on the Tracks is playing through March 28 at Hyperion Station

Tickets available at Moving Arts

Article by Jessie Kahnweiler