Review: Heart Rep’s ‘Red Bike’ is liberated crafting

M (Amy Lizardo, still left) and A (Adrienne Kaori Walters) in Center Repertory Firm’s “Purple Bicycle.”

Photograph: Alessandra Mello/Center Repertory Organization

Nowhere but America could have established the location of “Red Bike.” Not very long back, the city was rural. The old bus driver remembers corn and wheat driving together, he details out a section of town that “used to be going on.” Even now, a lonely drinking water tower stands out on the skyline, and the relaxation of the planet feels impossibly considerably away.

In Caridad Svich’s poetic participate in, whose Middle Repertory Company generation opened Tuesday, Feb. 7, luxurious condos have sat empty for months and surveillance drones that excitement like flies swarm above former farm fields. A large warehouse — it is not named, but Amazon is strongly implied — is the locus all over which perform and lifetime revolve, building the piles of packing containers that dominate Kelly James Tighe’s set layout.

M (Amy Lizardo, still left) and A (Adrienne Kaori Walters) in Middle Repertory Firm’s “Pink Bicycle.”

Image: Alessandra Mello/Centre Repertory Corporation

Not naming is a hallmark of Svich’s producing. She does not spell out the evils that have spawned this exurban wasteland, the place an adult can perform five, six, 9 work and continue to not make ends meet. She trusts that her audiences can purpose in the world of metaphor and allusion, and she is aware that an 11-yr-outdated can see truths to which grownups could possibly blind them selves. 

“Who are these people?” the baby miracles of the abroad people who have allegedly acquired the empty condos. “Will we ever get to meet them?”

M (Amy Lizardo, remaining) and A (Adrienne Kaori Walters) in Centre Repertory Company’s “Pink Bicycle.”

Picture: Alessandra Mello/Middle Repertory Company/Heart Repertory Company

The play’s two figures, M (Amy Lizardo) and A (Adrienne Kaori Walters), are the two halves of that 11-yr-old’s mind: playmates and foils, sidekicks and enemies all in just one. Often they split a cohesive monologue phrase by phrase, as the two certain legs of a swish skater. Frequently a person morphs into a side character — a mom, or “that guy” who owns half the town — then reinserts herself into the child’s thoughts. 

“Red Bike” is liberated writing, flitting from time to time and place to place when it serves the temper. In just one instant, we may possibly be inside of an elaborate fantasy about coaching with a tricky-gained crimson bicycle for a Tour de France gain one working day in the upcoming, on a humdrum bus experience in a third, inside of a nightmare in which “that guy” gets to be a monster. 

M (Amy Lizardo, remaining) and A (Adrienne Kaori Walters) in Heart Repertory Company’s “Red Bike.”

Picture: Alessandra Mello/Middle Repertory Firm

As a substitute, the enjoy hews to unity of sensation, capturing with dexterity the way the brain no cost-associates, the way it hopscotches to hopes and fears that really feel connected to the present, even if the rational intellect could not justify them. Here, it’s purely natural that bombing down a hill way also rapid on a bicycle will make the kid concoct elaborate just after-I’m-dead delusions of grandeur or veer to all-seeing sympathy for an overworked father or mother. In “Red Bike,” a single breathless bike journey can last a couple times but deal with the complete planet, surveying how the child’s city received this way and why it feels lousy.

Director Jeffrey Lo finds emotional via lines where temporal and spatial types really do not exist, but with no overexplaining a enjoy that champions thriller still wears it frivolously. As an viewers member, you could possibly frequently discover you do not fairly comprehend where the people are and what’s happening, but that you never thoughts. Probably you’re not usually meant to understand. At minimum you know exactly how the people sense, and you can coastline together on that sturdy craftsmanship by itself. 

M (Amy Lizardo, still left) and A (Adrienne Kaori Walters) in Center Repertory Firm’s “Pink Bike.”

Photo: Alessandra Mello/Center Repertory Company

Lo and the actors exemplify what it indicates to be in sync, and the ball in “Red Bike” hardly ever drops. Walters turns her strains into minor gems, as if she’s always locating the tranquil bravery to read through aloud from a diary. Lizardo has a unusual means to degree with viewers users, to enlist them into her strategies and moods. When she talks about currently being sweaty, she scrunches her experience and hangs her head in these a way as to inspire Pavlovian perspiration on your very own neck. When she switches roles from boy or girl to more mature adult, her pretty voice looks to age, as if it no more time has the vitality to maintain its pitch up. She lifts each and every thought in a monologue in its own one of a kind fashion, as a mountain manual could stage out little ledges en route to a summit. 

“Red Bike” puts refreshing religion in the eyes of a little one. It insists that children’s ambitions and observations and sense of injustice all make a difference. It turns young children free on all those stacks of Amazon bins in a way that could possibly make you look otherwise next time you see a brown parcel outside someone’s doorway.

Reach Lily Janiak: [email protected]


Far more Details

3 stars

“Red Bike”: Published by Caridad Svich. Directed by Jeffrey Lo. Via Feb. 25. 80 minutes. $45-$70. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. 925-943-7469. 

  • Lily Janiak

    Lily Janiak joined the San Francisco Chronicle as theater critic in May 2016. Beforehand, her creating appeared in Theatre Bay Spot, American Theatre, SF Weekly, the Village Voice and HowlRound. She retains a BA in theater experiments from Yale and an MA in drama from San Francisco Point out.

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