“After seeing numerous rehearsals in my role as cohort, I saw the show with a public audience at the Saturday matinee this past weekend. It had a couple of tech elements that I hadn’t fully seen in rehearsals, but overall it was just a nearly flawless execution of the hard work put in by these young, talented actors since they started this journey back on August 20th. The cast was relaxed and polished.
I was happy I brought one of my good friends to the show who knew nothing about it other than the little bit I had shared with him – which amounted to my telling him there were a couple of dozen off-the-wall skits which were often hilarious, sometimes deep (while not appearing to be), and often challenging. He told me that he had been wondering about the title, and after seeing “Molds” early on, thought he understood it – the play was going to answer the weird questions we have in our minds like when should we throw our bread away. I think from there he was waiting to see skits about dust bunnies under beds, and the answer to what happens to all the mates of those single socks we take out of the dryer. How was he supposed to know that Greg Kotis was going to explore much more substantial questions – like the danger of assuming samples in the store are always free, or how to approach a Post-Mortgage Paradigm in America!
The post-show conversation during the show with Greg Kotis was surreal, as I suppose was the intention, although it seemed a bit strained – that’s the risk of ‘live’ comedy – or live conversations about comedy, or drama, or whatever it was. But it worked in conjunction with the other pieces because it added to the tension created in works of effective absurdist satire — audiences enjoying themselves but in an off-balanced way, trying to process what just happened and what was happening now and wondering what was going to happen next.
As a writer myself, I found the numerous observations on the writer’s plight hilarious and, of course, bittersweet. The good-cop bad-cop interrogating the writer was brilliant; and I loved the Dante segment with the playwright descending into the rings of hell to hopefully get his play produced. The song at the close, We Will Remain summed it all up for me – that was the answer to all my questions. No matter the odds we face, the vacuums we often create our work in, writers and actors and directors and crew members will remain because the human need to tell our stories to each other and to ourselves is an essential part of our humanity.
Finally I just want to mention the extraordinary work of Director Sean Daniels and the cast of John Amir, Teresa Campbell, John Cummings, Nicole Cupo, Kara Dudley, Katie Ganem, Stella Kammel, Sarah Melnyk, James St. Jean, and Brian Ziemann. They were the first ones to ever bring to life this work by an exceptional writer, Greg Kotis, and they were more than up to the challenge – and it indeed was a challenge at many levels from the complex dialogue to the musical timing to the changing voices, tones and themes on a dime. There are relatively few people on the planet who get to be the first to produce a Tony-award winning playwright’s new work, and this is something these talented actors and their director should cherish. Expect to hear more from this talented bunch in the future. Well done, one and all. I’m honored to have had an up-close look at it come together.” – Paul Root