Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Blue Surge

By Rebecca Gilman
Directed by Anish Jethmalani
Produced by Eclipse Theatre Company
Blue Surge
Blue Surge

Small town drama demonstrates the confinement of class status

Eclipse Theatre does justice to Rebecca Gilman’s Blue Surge, now playing at the Greenhouse Theatre Center. Blue Surge is peopled by relatively uneducated working class folks caught in the confinements of semi-poverty. We see two Midwest small town cops, Curt (Kevin Scott), a sergeant struggling to make lieutenant and his friend Doug, a detective without ambition as they screw up at raid on a message parlor. Curt meets Sandy (Laura Coover in a fabulous nuanced performance), an eighteen year old prostitute caught in survival mode in tough economic times. The wild and carefree Doug entraps Heather (Sasha Gioppo) during the raid (Swift gets naked for this scene).

The two cops start a relationship with the prostitutes—Doug for sex and Curt because he wants to help Sandy get out of that life. Sandy relates to Curt’s gentle sincerity. Curt has self-esteem problems and he feels that helping Sandy makes him feel like he is somebody. Beth (Kerry Richlan) is Curt’s fiancée from the middle class who makes Curt feel low as she panders to him. Doug is fine with his job and social status yet he understands Curt’s yearnings.

Blue Surge at Elipse Theatre
Blue Surge at Elipse Theatre

Gilman vividly depicts the struggle lower class economically trapped people have as they strive to find their place in the society. Kevin Scott and Laura Coover produce subtle yet real spark as the two battle their own demons as well as the limited economic opportunities that their social class affords. Blue Surge is a powerful look at the personal quest for meaning and fulfillment that makes the characters feel human. Curt and Sandy slowly begin to experience the bliss of following their hearts. This is a moving and provocative work filled with truthful performances and loads of heart. You’ll remember your visit to this small town.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Jeff Recommended

At the Greenhouse Theatre Center, call 773-404-7336, tickets $25 – $20 students/seniors, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission.

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