Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Cleveland & Akron

Harm's Way
Convergence-Continuum
Review by Review by Mark Horning

Also see Mark's review of The Wiz


Artwork Courtesy Of Convergence-Continuum
A mother shoots her mentally challenged son at point blank range because he refuses to eat a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread that she has made for him, citing that he was disrespectful. She is shot and killed by Santouche, who feels her reason for killing her son was not good enough. Santouche is forced to go into hiding along with his partner Fisheye. This all happens in the first three minutes of the 60-minute no intermission of Mac Wellman's Harm's Wary, now on stage at Convergence-Continuum and directed by Clyde Simon.

By evidence of his .44 Magnum Pistol, .45 automatic and .38 special, Santouche is an angry man who will lash out at anyone who angers him, be it friend, foe, lover or complete stranger.

By the time the gun smoke clears, five or more people will bite the dust in this tribute to wanton violence. There is no historical reference as to when the play takes place. It could be in the past (the Wild West), the present (any current American metropolis), or in the future as the result of an apoplectic tragedy. You decide.

Following his shooting of the mother, Santouche has his girl Isle of Mercy sell a broken gold watch in order for him to go into hiding. While on the lam he meets the woman By Way of Being Hidden, who is suspended from a wagon wheel attached to a high pole.

Meanwhile, in her search for a buyer for the broken watch, Isle of Mercy meets Crowsfoot, who is a barker at a corrupt carnival that advertises a "horrible beast" that does not exist. Isle of Mercy demands her 25 cents back, but instead, Crowsfoot kidnaps her and forces her into prostitution. By the way, it's a comedy.

As in most Convergence-Continuum productions, there is a bare bones set. A trio (Wesley Allen, violin/Cook), Joseph Milan accordion and African drum/Blackmange), (Beau Reinker, guitar/Pop Star) occupy a small stage decorated with burlap. They add musical accompaniment as well as sound effects, while also playing parts in the play (this is a busy band). There is a tall wooden fence and a brick wall on which stills are projected to add atmosphere.

The cast consists of Monica Zach (Mother/Mr. Suggs/Child), Robert Branch (Kid/Crowsfoot), Michael Regnier (Fisheye/McKinley), Brian Westerley (Santouche), Hillary Wheelock (Isle of Mercy), Carrie Williams (By Way of Being Hidden), Gideon Lorete (Wizard/Child).

There is more cussin' and shootin' and killin' than a Quentin Tarantino movie, but it is all done in fun (if this is your idea of a good time).

Scant clues are given as to the whys, wherefores, and especially whens of this strange homage to gratuitous violence, but it makes for a fast evening of theater, leaving time to hit the local pub to discuss what you have just witnessed. Sometimes theater does not need to make sense—it just is what it is. They expect this show to be sold out, so order your tickets early.

Harm's Way will be on stage at Convergence-Continuum through April 15, 2017, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. The Liminis Theater is located at 2438 Scranton Road, Cleveland in the historic Tremont neighborhood. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors (65+) and $10 students. Reservations can be made online by going to convergence-continuum.org or by calling (216) 687-0074.


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