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Friday, October 6, 2017

"You in Midair" @ New Expressive Works

I like to believe that I have a preference for darker fare, but given the current influx of so many dark works, I am beginning to question whether or not that is actually my true preference. PCS's "Every Brilliant Thing" tackled depression and suicide, Third Rail's forthcoming "The Events" will take on a shooting at a choir practice, and "You in Midair" examines the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer, told as only a mother could.

Ms. Danna Schaeffer's brisk one-woman show is almost surely to be the most devastating piece of theatre this year. That said, somehow there's room for completely unexpected humor, mostly dealing with the unrealistic expectations of outsiders about how grief should be processed.

The show's greatest asset is its honesty, it's unashamed willingness to tell the truth. Ms. Schaeffer has no time for weak platitudes. She's the kind of person who finds solace in a book of quotes about death, because they are real, and not designed to bring comfort to someone who can't be comforted, and knows it.

Wounds heal, because unhealed wounds lead to death. But, we are seldom reminded that a synonym for "healed wound" is "scar," and scars are with us every day. Our inclination is to cover them, because they are not pretty. But, real bravery lies in letting them show, because they are the reason you're allowed to go on. They represent imperfect repair of that which is irreparable. They are an honor to see.

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