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THE ALEPH COMPLEX Alleyway Theatre
By
Feb 18, 2023, 13:08
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Through March 4
THE ALEPH COMPLEX Alleyway Theatre

One of the standard keys to a play is using stereotypes to get right into the tale, like the opening of “Romeo and Juliet,” the issues of the Capulets and the Montagues.
Deborah Yarchun’s “The Aleph Complex” isn’t like that.
Here, the three characters are coming from left field, very left field.
There’s Mom (Sara Kow-Falcone) who hasn’t left her apartment in five years.
There’s her daughter (Caroline Kolasny) who has survived her bizarre upbringing to get into Cornell on a scholarship.
And, the only employee of the last Borders bookstore (Josh Wilde), who lives in the store and dresses in Borders gear.
Naomi, Nicky and Borders Guy have their tics collide because each is in chronic need, on Lynne Koscielniak’s wonderful set, often using Caitlin McLeod’s puppetry design.
Each of the three also has secrets, like the electronic screen in the back of the book store which Borders Guy sees as some connection with another world.
Nicky isn’t going to class, as she tries to get her mother to walk out that door into the outside world and a professor is becoming concerned.
The daughter isn’t one of those stereotypes who just throws Mom overboard as she flees a disturbed parent.
She’s starting to get involved with Borders Guy because of the ideas those shelves of books represent and The Container Store where she works, using the plastic boxes to grab onto the sounds which are disturbing her mind.
Nicky imagines the sounds will go away if she encloses them in the wall of plastic boxes.
In a world in which entertainment screens and stages are filled with mentally disturbed people, these three are different and, unfortunately, probably very common.
Each is seeking a more common status, not what each is going through.
Leaving the theater makes you ponder what’s going on in the world around you and the individual lives of the people you see every day, work with or just talk about.
Yarchun is looking at a world filled with people who are broken or breaking.
Director Robyn Lee Horn does a nice job with this tangle, people seeking something to calm their minds.
Besides the set, the puppetry, Horn also has Hudson Waldrop’s sound design, the noise which fills the show and disturbs Nicky’s mind and fills those plastic boxes.
Plastic?
What other materials fill our lives?
A modern look at modern people.
That’s why “The Aleph Complex”</b< is worth seeing.

A.W.

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