Liquid Plain newly opened at OSF

BY HUGH GARRETT

The Liquid Plain, newly opened at OSF as part of the American History series written by Naomi Wallace asks more questions than it answers. It was touted as a “breakthrough theatrical piece”, but there was no challenge to the barriers of theatre, if there are any.

I hope they didn’t mean that because there was a new vulgarity on stage, the play is inventive and new. Or was it a scene in which two blacks enslave a white?  It proves a rule that what one is paid to write is okay, what one must write is more apt to have the kiss of life in it.

Anyone who knows what a “hand job” is will know what happened on stage. So what? That is the brave new world of theatre? “Breakthrough theatre” is about original new ideas and excellence, not new depths of vulgarity for way over done shock value.

Otherwise the play had good intentions. But the story however well written, was scattered, the well done direction led nowhere, and the superb acting, didn’t define whose story it was.

The play should have begun many scenes into the first act with Kevin Kennel’s entrance. He lifts the stage at full weight and makes the show air borne. There is also a great scene with old pros JP Phillips and Richard Elmore as two old sods waiting to die.

The show deserves to be liked and will be, as what OSF does best.

Hugh Garrett is a retired journalist living in Ashland