Chicago Theatre Review
See this Sea. Deep. Blue and Moving
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
By Lazlo Collins
“Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” is beautifully acted and a simple quiet treat.
It is indeed quiet, dim, and tense at the bar where our two characters first meet; setting the tone for this dark drama of lives thrown together for a twisted connection.
A popular 1983 play (by Doubt playwright John Patrick Stanley) that has had longevity among acting competitions. This intense two person drama gets a new life line with Kokandy Productions at the Athenaeum Theatre.
Danny (Brandon Galatz) and Roberta (Jodi Kingsley) are two angry people who cannot seem to move on, or around, or go anywhere really. As they begin to talk and jab at each other, one thing is clear; their choices may not always have been great. They come together in a desperate dance of yearning for a connection they both so desperately want and need.
He agrees to come to her room she shares with her family. After some awkward lovemaking, the road to just a one night stand is interrupted by conversations of discovery and common pain. Their revelations sting with the bitterness they have endured, but draw each one close to each other with a common bond.
Tenderly, before they fall asleep, they talk of marriage and the promise of the new day. As the light changes from night to day, Roberta must face the reality of her life with her parents and her child. Danny is not so eager to let it go. They spar like the fighters they are with emotional punches coming fast and furious.
Should these two characters make a decision about any sort of life together, the road ahead is uncertain and will take all their focus.
Mr. Galatz as Danny was predictably intense, but showed a great sense of tenderness and emotion. He brought likeability to this troubled and confused man. As an audience member, I wanted to reach out make sure he would be okay. As Danny, Mr. Galatz moves this character through his emotional paces with ease. He was comfortable to watch and was ultimately engaging. His performance was rare and touching for this play. It’s usually over played like a character from “Wiseguys”.
As Roberta, Ms. Kingsley is remarkable. Her subtle and internal rhythms are lovely. Her sweet, yet cat like switches in tone are fun to watch. She is fearless and also fearful of what will become of her. She shows us the depths of Roberta as the story unfolds. It is beautifully painful to watch her comfortableness as Danny begins to warm up to her. Her performance is varied, sweet and sad; with a glimmer of hope in her eyes.
Wonderfully directed by K. Hannah Friedman and simply setting by Zachary Gipson, this black box beauty is perfectly crafted. The lighting by Mac Vaughey is a superb contribution to this show’s success.
“Danny and the Deep Blue” runs through 28 April on Thursday through Saturdays at the Athenaeum Theatre on Southport. For tickets go to the Athenaeum Theatre box office or call 773-935-6875. Also at www.anthenaeumtheatre.org
For more information on this and other shows please visit theatre in Chicago. The website is www.theatreinchicago.com