I tend to be attracted to strong performances by female actors. Even more so when they are working in ensemble and not expecting the glare of the spotlight.
In StageWorks Fresno’s Dogfight, Kelsey Deroian has a moment as Mama, Rose’s mother, where she communicates so much with a well-executed look away from her daughter that the heartbreak is palpable. While Rose is rhapsodizing about how wonderful it is that she’s going to a party with a boy, Mama – a justifiably suspicious, hard-working woman – looks at her plain, idealistic daughter with trepidation. Then, just as Rose’s vocals begin to swell, Mama looks away from her daughter and there in her face is solid heartbreak. I could see her remember something so terribly disappointing in the past and experience a touch of it all over again, knowing that her daughter could very well be in for the same. It is as though Mama divines the future by looking backward for just a moment.
Of course, in a later scene, Mama comes to Rose’s door and asks if she had a good time at the party, in voice tinged with sympathy. Rose, who has now experienced the disappointment her mother foresaw, lies to her and says, “Yes.”
And so, with Deroian’s razor-sharp visualization of Mama’s internal world, the wheel of time and experience begins to turn and passes on to Rose.
StageWorks Fresno’s Dogfight runs until August 9th. Click to www.stageworksfresno.com for more information.
About Just a Moment
The conundrum: I used to review shows. I no longer do unless specifically asked. But from time to time I still like to tell the world a little something about what I saw. My solution: The “Just a Moment” where I will discuss one moment in a show I watch that I found effective (or perhaps ALMOST effective?) and then try to articulate why. Not the whole show, not a review, just something that struck me personally.
They’ll be compiled in this category, if you’d like to see the other Moments. (And yes, the idea struck me while watching Into the Woods.)