Thursday, November 15, 2018
The set is black with neon trim paint, offering a bleak view somewhat inspired by Tron but with a sense of dystopia. Two monitors are locked on either side of the small stage where a lone bed lies atop nothing but a box spring, the covers disheveled as random "parts" lie scattered about. Motherboards, wires, some tools, and a chair-
Take a snapshot of a broken family. CC (Jay Brew) and Martha (Alanna Youngblood) are siblings living together many years after the death of their parents, but only a few short years after the estrangement of their outlaw sister, Fanta (Lucy Tran). They share the rent with local grifter, Erik (Jason Roeder). CC's recent hacking to create modifications to Virtopia are coming to a head as he's caught the attention of black market customers, a network of cyber-terrorists, and the company itself. His experiments may have also opened a door beyond death itself. Or could this be something worse?
Jay Brew brings his best performance to date as the deeply troubled CC, whose experiments may destroy everything his family has left. He's obviously broken from the moment we meet him, suffering from a childhood injury that's left him permanently crippled. But while CC is the deformed backbone of the show, the emotional heart is Martha. Alanna Youngblood is a force of nature on stage, capturing the heartache and worry of a sister on the edge of faith, hope, and heartbreak. She's largely turned a blind eye to the dangers of the virtual world, but it's also blinded her to the allure that threatens to tear her family apart.
And the siblings are going to have trouble knowing who to trust. Everyone wants a piece of what CC's found, for one reason or another.
8 out of 10 and an excellent production from Paperwing Theatre.