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European-American Topics - Culture - Tuesday

Local playwright looks to find the naked truth between memories and existence
By Denise Gibbs
Contributing writer
Posted April 5, 2007


    On rare occasions you get to witness the creator performing his creation. Tuesday, now playing until April 18 at Annex Theatre’s Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC), is one of those unique moments. Local honored playwright, Paul Mullin, stars in his own concoction as Audie on a typical Tuesday in his not so typical life. Audie suffers from Korsakoff’s syndrome, a rare sort of amnesia that makes him forget about who he is every time he goes to sleep at night. The play starts with Mullin playing Audie very child-like and having to remember simple tasks to start his day in a hospital setting. Doctors and nurses guide Audie through his day, but the later it gets the crueler his aides seem to be, forcing him to remember the awful circumstances and tragedies of his former life. Though discombobulated in the beginning you start to sympathize with Audie and start to wonder if he didn’t actually choose to live a life of not remembering, so as not to have to return to his heartbreaking reality. Towards the end you realize what a torture it would be to live somewhere between life and memories and what misery it would be to not progress.  Your heart wants to cheer Audie on to take the leap of truth and plunge back into the real world no matter how harsh a reality it is.

    The play itself may seem tortuous at times, with scenes coming and going with the lights going down and up which seems to represent the blinking of an eye or the flashing of a memory in the mind’s eye. Even with the 3/4 stage seating you are up close and personal with the actors. Word of warning, if you have a modest eye you may not want to sit too close for the revealing bathing scene.

    The memories can be raw and at times confusing, embarrassing, maybe a little boring but revealing. As is our own lives and the mundane of it all.

    After seeing the show you may contemplate how your own Tuesday was. Was I analyzed? Was my brain picked and prodded? Was I made to remember my best and most awful memories in the course of one day? What would it be like to remember these vivid details everyday? And if I wasn’t sick then, would I be sick after being required to remember these over and over again?

    Some awful truths are learned during the play and you wonder how hard the human mind must work to suppress such awful things? At what point during a bad day do you want to crawl in bed and say as Audie says, “I’m finished! Tuesday is over!”

    Mullin does a fabulous job as Audie and plays a range of emotions from drunken junk bond trader to child-like tantrums in the hospital. The equally wonderful supporting cast does an excellent job with the material they are provided and with the range of characters they must play. Standouts are Joseph P. McCarthy who plays Moe, fellow junk bond trader and mentor and the Gumshoe Priest, whose interpretations are quite real and vivid. Cast member Karen Jo Fairbrook gets some outstanding characters to play including a prophetic street woman who has some of the best lines in the show that could be snippets of wisdom for all of our lives such as “Can’t remember everything, then you’d be too busy remembering and no time to be.” Or “If these memories are dead, gone for good, then part of you is dead. It’s like being born every moment.”

    Each actor in Tuesday seems to get a work out with the numerous characters they must portray. Though the snippets of stories may not make the best story telling and the third act may not be the happy ever after ending, the play does raise interesting questions.

“Do we want a new life? Would we take our chances with it, because tomorrow never exists?”

Runs through April 18 at the Annex Theatre



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