by Diane Grant
Every once in a while, you come across a work that knocks your socks off.
In September of last year, I saw a performance of Mary Lou Newmark’s Breathing Room at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose. The play was filled with beautiful music. The language and situations were fresh and arresting and I still think of that evening with pleasure.
Billed as A Chamber Symphony for Two Actors and a Musician in Four Acts, it was written and composed by Mary Lou, directed by Dan Berkowitz, with movement by Gary Thomas.
The other two performers were Joshua Wolf Coleman and Eileen T’Kaye who played two neighbors in a Los Angeles suburb – Marilyn, an artist, and the Professor, a high school science teacher.
This is from her website: The two of them struggle with “modern technologic vertigo” as they negotiate living with hummingbirds, meatball eating bears, coyotes and backyard chickens. With evocative music performed live on stage by Mary Lou, they explore personal relationships with nature, quantum physics and embodied spirituality through playful, humorous storytelling.
(Shallow creature that I am, I particularly enjoyed a segment on Bed, Bath and Beyond.)
Mary Lou plays a green acrylic 5-String Electric Violin and uses an Eventide Ultra-Harmonizer.
Here’s a photo so you can see that wonderful violin.
In a clip from Breathing Room on her website, you can also see the instruments that stand in for an entire orchestra.
Here’s the link: http://www.greenangelmusic.com/breathing-room.php
Breathing Room was at the Zephyr for only one night and Mary Lou is looking for a long run. I hope she finds that production because I’d like to see it again.