Ego Po Classic Theatre culminates its ambitious staging of John Guare’s epic Lydie Breeze Trilogy with the opening of Madaket Road. It is a long and complicated walk through the past. Guare has written mind bending and heartbreaking twists and turns throughout. Leaving the audience to piece it together for some time after they leave the theatre.
The staging and scope of the play stays consistent with parts one and two. Marketa Fantova has re-designed the bare bones set of sand and wooden boxes with an ample thrust playing space. Jay Ansill and Cynthia Hopkins have again created a wonderful score. All music being played live by a talented group seated above the audience.
The entire trilogy is essentially a mirror of life. Not mine or yours. But of the journey we all undertake. The bold choices of youth that builds companions. The desire to find a home of our own and the complications that arise.
In Madaket Road we face the harsh reality that magnificent decisions from ordinary people, made in moments of passion and reason alike, ripple through space and time. Having monumental consequences for generations to come. The play is haunting and beautiful. Lane Savadove’s direction is steady, mature and even handed.
Melanie Julian plays the ghost of Lydie Breeze with reverence and simplicity. It is also a nod to her excellent work from Parts I and II that reverberates through Part III. Kylie Westerbeck was Lydie’s namesake. Rambunctious, confused and filled with wonder. Westerbeck is endearing and plays young Lydie with excellent comic timing. Kristie Ecke gives an absolute firecracker of a performance as Gussie, Lydie’s eldest daughter. Her self-absorbed ambition never gives way. Ecke’s energy alone could keep the lights on in a blackout. Hannah Gold’s Beatty is simply a barn burner of a performance. With ebbs and flows of simmering anger, paternal guidance, and steamy passion. She is simply magnificent.
There are so few great theatre pieces for women. John Guare wrote this with that in mind. and these women hit home run after home run. Ego Po has done a commendable act by adding this trilogy to the artistic fabric of the city. Of course, one could say that it was also a three-play season. Truly, the gift to the audience is the dynamic, energetic, dedicated and oh so talented performances from all the women of the Lydie Breeze Trilogy.
Lydie Breeze Trilogy Part III: Madaket Road runs at Christ Church Neighborhood House through April 22nd. https://www.egopo.org/
Review by Rob Neddoff