New play keeps audience guessing
By Bob Evans
A new play by Scott Myers, “The Moon’s Language,” continues this weekend at Westport Presbyterian Church that focuses on a young, bi-racial couple learning to cope with past hurts, uncertain future, different paths, and current trepidations.
“The Moon’s Language” tells the story of young lovers, Desmond and Barbetta, portrayed by Justin Speer and Jabrelle Jenee, as they work out their differences and expose their inner dreams, their current daily happenings, and their futures. Coincidentally, a full moon brings our the romantic inclinations of the couple against the backdrop of lunar craziness known to be accentuated by full moons.
The two opposing motifs keep the audience guessing where the play leads. Is this a romantic, lunar love story or is it a romantic set up for a Fatal Attraction spine-tingling story? The only way to resolve the issue: go see the play and find out.
With only two characters and minimal props, the action relies predominantly on the two characters. That being the case, expect lots of words from each character because they need to fill each scene of the two-act play. At times the words seem a bit much and the dialogue forced, but the words matter to create the effect of the play.
Directed by Jacqueline Gafford and assisted by Frances Farah, the play moves along at a nice pace. The two characters establish a nice chemistry in the opening scene which makes the play and characters believable. Without the chemistry, the play would not succeed.
The play could use some fine-tuning in the first act. The plot develops slowly and somehow needs to grab the audience faster. Perhaps a signal that something could go amiss could appear in the opening sequences to suggest there is more in story for audience focus.
“The Moon’s Language” is free to attendees and those who wish to encourage more similar plays may donate to help fund next year’s production, “Oracle of the Ozarks,” Myers said. Myers hopes to create a new interest and audience for Kansas City theater. Donations to this year’s play fund next year’s production, he said.
Special thanks for “The Moon’s Language goes to those who helped in the production: Heartland Men’s chorus, Jeanne Reiss Myers, Westport Presbyterian Church, Deanna Capps, Mary Jo Draper, Vickie W. Little, Margaret Tartaka, Chris Armone, and Amanda Davis.
Tags: “The Moon’s Language”, Westport Presbyterian Church, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment