Love Has Everything to Do With It
Eva and George Mettlen have fallen into a rut. The love between them is gone and Eva seems to spend a lot of the time day dreaming, watching the world pass by from the window of their neat and dour conservative home. George reads the paper, filtering Eva's observations between articles—hearing without listening, answering without comprehending. Eva visits a museum and meets Kerry, an art aficionado and twice-divorced ladies’ man. He sweeps Eva off her feet and onto a romantic adventure, abandoning house and husband—never looking back. We watch as Eva navigates through her life of self-discovery, becoming her own person, living by her own rules. Good neighbor Constance visits George the abandoned husband, seductively edging her way into his life with all the subtlety of a rattlesnake. This new play by Hawai'i playwright Eric Anderson under the direction of Swaine Kaui is not to be missed.
Director Kaui is a local boy who has been back in Hawai'i for less than a year. Having spent many years in the East Coast theatre scene, Coyotes is his Honolulu theatre debut as a director and Kaui does not disappoint. His East Coast experience and off-Broadway influence is seen throughout this production.
Rebecca McCarthy plays Eva. She is convincing and believable throughout as a woman lost and floundering in an unappreciated marriage, blossoming in romance with a total stranger, maneuvering the boundaries of friendship with a co-worker and living her life on her own terms.
Tim Jefferyes is disdainfully good as the inattentive husband, George. We see George awaken slowly as his relationship with neighbor Constance (Ann Brandman) opens his eyes to a promising union while thoughts of Eva diminish even further.
Brandman is delicious as Constance, playing her as a woman of obvious device, thinly veiled with baked goods and well meanings. Watching Jefferyes and Brandman play together in their scenes was always something to look forward to.
Special mention must go to James C. Roberts who plays art lover Kerry. Roberts is effortless in his performance of a man with the confidence and bravado to appreciate the beauty of both art and women.
Rounding out the cast beautifully are Michele Van Hessen, Thomas T.C. Smith and Vontress Mitchell.
The set (co-designed with Andy Alvarado) collapses and folds onto itself, evolving into the next scene. Hooded koken add and subtract crucial but minimal set pieces, allowing the audience to use their imagination to complete the scene. Space is thoughtfully and purposely used. No more, no less. Layered music is dreamlike and lighting effects give the production an ethereal quality.
The successful collaboration between director, designers and actors makes Coyotes a must see. Coyotes by Eric Anderson plays at TAG through Sunday April 2, 2017.