Ryan Sutherland, Staff Writer
The Pulitzer Prize winning play, “The Flick,” by Annie Baker was brought to life at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Rochester on Thursday, March 9. Only days after the first bomb threat evacuation at this community center, and a week after vandals overturned headstones at a Jewish cemetery in northwest Rochester, this resilient community came together to celebrate the art form.
“The Flick” begins with two movie theater workers, Sam and Avery, sweeping up the aisles after the audience has left the Boston theater with the last 35 mm projector in town. To break the silence, the two exchange details of their personal lives and argue about contemporary cinema. This creates depth to the characters and a window into their lives.
Sam (D. Scott Adams) has no direction as a thirty year old in a dead end job sweeping up popcorn. His only desires lie on the thoughts of someday being with the projectionist, Rose (Jessica Tasciotti). Rose is a younger, energetic ball of fire who adds color to the mundane job by dancing, being flamboyant and cursing. Avery (Willis Brooks) is a college student and movie nerd who has demons of his own.
Annie Baker’s work is polarizing, you either love or hate her work. There is only one set in this three hour long production, but this surprisingly highlights the dialogue and emotions of the play that illuminates the audience. Each scene was separated by the projector light that emerged from the drowning darkness of the theater, to symbolize passing time.
The playwright does a great job holding up a mirror to the way we communicate our feelings to one another in our everyday lives. She does this by using pauses and silences that seem to be the most powerful component of the performance. The pauses help an audience reflect on word choices and the meaning behind them.
The dialogue can make viewers laugh but the inner sadness and loneliness of the characters is heart wrenching. The audience reacted accordingly to the dialogue and the feelings expressed by the characters. A joke created a roar of laughter and social tensions made you feel like everyone was gripping their chairs. This is a testament to the flawless acting, directing, producing, and writing.
The theater felt like a warm community as it was filled with people from all ages. The only disclaimer is to be aware that there may be offensive language. This play was definitely brought to justice by Rochester theater veteran and director David F. Runzo. So by all means, go see the play, “The Flick,” which is playing Thursday, March 16 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 18 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. The price is $20 for students, $24 for members and $26 for everyone else.
For more details check out: jccrochester.org.