Afew weeks ago, I told you how excited I was to be seeing the west coast premiere of Walking the Tightrope at Los Angeles’ 24th Street Theatre & it was SO much more than I thought it would be & delivered on many levels for all ages.
Young Esme (played by a superb Paige Lindsey White….who may appear to be a grown-up, yet knows how to release her inner child & show emotions as if she truly were around 8 or so) has been going to visit Granddad Stan (a perfect Mark Bramhall) & Nanny since she was in her Mommy’s tummy….then, the next year, she cried…alot, the following, she walked & the year after that, she talked, ALOT! On her very first train trip for this annual summer vacation all on her own, she arrives & at first, thing do seem the same, but as she gets to her grandparents home & notices the chickens, kitchen, egg timer, many staples at the home seem the same…but her beloved Nanny is nowhere to be found.
Granddad dances around the issue, & as the short play progresses, we begin to see that maybe Esme can perhaps accept death better, or in her own mature way, than Granddad has been able to.
A mysterious clown (Tony Duran) graces the stage for most of the whole act, never saying a word, yet being perhaps the tide that binds what is missing without the presence of Nanny.
The youngster & Grandpa’s trips out to the seaside (& later….even…the circus, of course!) are too precious, with clearly some emphasis on the difference of being 8 & (around) 70/80!;) Keyboardist, Michael Redfield shines at providing great little ditties & mood-setting music for each scene, too.
Walking the Tightrope is clearly appropriate for all ages; I do not have children yet enjoyed it just as much as a “grown-up” play. The families around, especially the children, definitely seemed to enjoy the antics of precocious Esme, the grumpiness of Stan, the questions surrounding The Clown & I can also see this production being a wonderful way to introduce a child to the bittersweet events in life that do include death.
Walking the Tightrope plays at The 24th St Theatre every Saturday at 2p & 730 through March 30. I highly recommend reserving your tickets here as it is selling out!:)
(Special thanks to Cindy Marie Jenkins for inviting me to see the play)