If you want to see a shooting star on the rise, try to catch Stephen Spotswood’s Born Normal. Catholic University students and alumni create a performance that is delicate, refreshing, and nourishing. It’s like consuming a protein shake amongst a lot of fringe food.
What’s a girl to do when she grows up with a mother gifted with wings, and siblings with extraordinary abilities of their own? The five talented actors, under the clever direction of Ryan Whinnem, effortlessly present dozens of distinct characters while navigating a story that unfurls like a carefree walk in the woods; something unexpected around every corner to contemplate.
Laura Quenzel, as the central character, virtually dances with the rest of the actors as they slide in and out of her memories. Eli Sibley’s charismatic performance commands the stage with a mesmerizing presence. Slice Hicks is a standout as he physically embraces his characters with precision and gusto. Brandon McCoy exudes a warmth and sense of irony that perfectly matches the material. Rachel Holt handles the diverse array of characters she portrays with captivating commitment.
It’s no wonder that Spotswood won the Paula Vogel award last year. His ability to write complicated, sensitive characters and balance them with graceful humor is a rare talent. Where do men like Spotswood and Wally Lamb get their inside information on relationships where women are concerned? It’s downright unnerving. And very, very special.
[Editor’s Disclaimer: The playwright is a student at Catholic University. Carrie Klewin has her MFA in directing from Catholic University. The Born Normal program thanks Carrie for her contribution to the play, and she is credited as having directed the reading of Born Normal at the Kennedy Center (something Carrie denies). Carrie defends her opinions stated here, and says she has had no connection to the play or the playwright. None of what could be perceived as a conflict of interest came to light until after the review was posted.]
- Running Time: 60 minutes
- Tickets: Born Normal
- Remaining Shows: Sat, July 26 at 5 . Sun, July 27 at 6:30
- Where: Source, 1835 14th Street, NW