Wineke theater view: Two lizards enliven APT production
You expect to see a lot of things at American Players Theatre, but lizards?
Two lizards play prominent roles in Edward Albee’s play “Seascape,” which also features veteran actors Sarah Day and Jonathan Smoots.
Day and Smoots play the roles of Nancy and Charlie, who are vacationing on a beach and contemplating what comes next in their lives. Nancy wants adventure and Charlie wants a nap.
This is kind of the give and take of many marriages as time marches on, and at one time or another one partner asks, “Is that all there is?”
Enter the lizards, Christina Panfilio and LaShawn Banks, as Sarah and Leslie.
Panfilio and Banks make very good lizards. They slither over rocks, maintain control over their long tails, pounce and retreat. At one point, I swear I saw Banks flick a forked tongue and I know that didn’t happen but I swear I saw it.
They are very good lizards.
It seems that Sarah and Leslie, until recently, lived at the bottom of the sea (a place to which Charlie aspired before he chose a life of conventional fatigue) and, on the sea floor they wondered if there could be more to life. Charlie and Nancy are the first humans they’ve encountered and the humans smell funny and are probably inedible.
Well, one doesn’t have to be too bright to figure out that Sarah and Leslie are a young couple whose joy at life puts the weariness of Nancy and Charlie in perspective.
But by making them lizards, Albee allows the audience to experience the incomprehension that young and old experience when trying to share experiences with one another.
It’s not all that different than the incomprehension my young urban professional children express when I try to explain to them that I really like having an acre of lawn that I must cut with a tractor. We speak the same words, but not the same language.
So, there’s meaning in “Seascape.” The acting on all parts is excellent. But even if you’re not into deep meaning, it’s worth seeing the play even if all you care about are the lizards. The play runs through Oct. 18.