Detroit, as presented by the 12 Peers Theater has produced the sizzling play written by Lisa D’amour. From May 14th through the 30th this production can be seen in Shady Side at the Maker Theater. If you take a break from your busy lives and take in this show you will not be disappointed.
Detroit takes the audience on rough and tumble journey and looks at the splintering of the American middle class in this post-recession era we live in today. What values are left for the modern couple? What must they do to keep their dreams and love for each other alive?
The promise of success has evaporated as corporations downsized tossing talented, loyal, hardworking people out after years of employment. In cities like Detroit the possibility of never putting it back together can be all too real. The stresses that such failures bring to a marriage are many and complex.
These were the concepts toyed with in Detroit. Two odd neighbors inexplicably move in next door to Ben and Mary as played by Brett Sullivan Santy, and Alyssa Herron, respectively. These two play their roles of the traditional middle class couple with vision. They were completely believable. They epitomized the stereotypes of the middle class, but as the play unfolded the influences of their new neighbors, Kenny and Sharon, became too much. We, the audience, watch as they molt out of their confining middle class roles becoming something new.
Their losses, which were many, did not seem to matter. Change had come and nothing beneath the surface would remain the same. Brett and Alyssa, brought the metamorphoses of their characters to the stage and made us believe that change could come, that change had come, and we took joy in their victory!
Kenny, and Sharon as played by John Feightner, and Sara Fisher presented us with two characters who defied the definition of the middle class. Sure, as the play unfolded they looked as if they would walk in the shoes of the typical middle class couple. They even battled with addiction, but they made us in the audience believe how they only wanted to partake in all that American society had to offer. They cajoled Ben and Mary into taking the necessary steps towards change, and then finally helping them cast off everything they believed to be important and dear.
The venue, The Maker Theater, virtually eliminates the fourth wall. The audience can feel as if they are on the set listening and watching the actors. Nothing can be missed in this venue. At first glance, the seats feel too high, but once the play begins the benefits become obvious.
Without spoiling the conclusion of this play I must comment on the character Frank, as played by Larry Herrmann. This character shows up at the end to tie up the loose ends. We learn the startling truths about Kenny, and Sharon, and we even get to see the complete changes of Mary and Ben that come as a shock, but great change will do that.
Detroit plays out brilliantly at the Maker Theater. Go and see it, and enjoy the efforts of the actors as they take on the colorful complexities of simple, middle America, surprises abound!
Performance Date: Thursday, May 14, 2015