Centerstage: Mud Blue Sky
Imagine three women in a hotel room with a bottle of cognac, a few hits of weed, and a high school student who got ditched by his prom date. There's no Bravo, little time, and no holds barred. In this new comedy, local playwright Marisa Wegrzyn explores how we can be trapped by the past, fearful of the future, and scared to make a move. And her dialogue is so well crafted that it's easy to forget that you're in a theatre.
Mud Blue Sky tells the story of three flight attendants, all played by Red Orchid Ensemble Members Natalie West (Beth), Mierka Girten (Sam), and Kirsten Fitzgerald (Angie), with our eager school boy, Jonathan, played by Matt Farabee.
Beth is looking to retire from her life in the sky, going so far as to consider taking a bad retirement package designed for senior staff. Meanwhile, Sam feels that her job has cost her a relationship with her son, even though it's not beyond her to suggest the possibility of sex to a teenager in exchange for some of his pot. Angie, on the other hand, was fired from the airline for gaining weight, went through a divorce, and now lives in LaGrange with her ailing mother. And Jonathan ended up in the fray because he's Beth's pot guy who is just looking to get paid.
It's a strange dynamic to be sure, with young Jonathan in a lion's den with a couple of cougars, but this play works brilliantly. Each performer gets their moment to shine and show their chops, which are clearly very well sharpened. I was especially impressed with Kirsten Fitzgerald's performance as Angie. Even though she's on stage for the least amount of time, there is one story she tells that is both poetic and heartbreaking. I found myself leaning on the edge of my seat, as if I could comfort her myself.
Plus, Shade Murray's direction and the excellent set design by Jackie Penrod makes this a remarkable production that you really shouldn't miss. If you're looking for an interesting play with strong female characters and lots of laughs, Mud Blue Sky is a perfect fit.