By Dennis Maley, Editor Saturday, June 20, 2015
Sarasota's newest theater company scored a huge hit with their debut production, the stateside premiere of Anna Jordan's award-winning play, Chicken Shop. The bar was set high for the follow up act, but the dark and often hilarious regional debut of Zayd Dohrn's Reborning exceeds expectations.
Kelly designs and makes extremely life-like dolls, typically for grieving parents, the dolls portraying the infants they have recently lost. She lives with her boyfriend Daizy, who she met at art school. Daizy has a similar occupation; only instead of babies, he makes his living crafting custom body parts for the adult entertainment industry.
Kelly is a fractured human being, tormented by a horrid experience as an infant. Her shell finally cracks while dealing with a particularly fussy client, an attorney named Emily. The incredibly brisk-paced, single-act, 80-minute play is an oddly touching story that hits on common themes in a refreshingly uncommon way.
Director Brendon Fox coaxes deep, poignant performances from his three-member cast. Megan Rippey gives us an astonishing intensity as Kelly, whose back story and self-awareness of its implications is as honest as it is tragic.
Natalie Symons is highly effective in ping ponging off of Rippey's bursts as the similarly manic Emily, while Brendan Ragan's good-natured and somewhat goofy interpretation of the hyper-normal Daizy balances the chemistry of this dark tour de force.
Reborning plays through July 5. Visit Urbanite's website for more information.