Jinx:: Act One Studio

July 30, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

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Last night I had the sweet chance to check out Basia Kapolka’s play, Jinx. Both written and directed by Kapolka, Jinx is a play adaptation of Theophile Gautier’s novel Jettatura, in which a young man is suspected of having the evil eye. The question comes to the fore when Paul d’Aspremont (played by Andy Junk) follows his fiancé to Italy, where she has travelled to improve her health. While there, a number of accidents ensue and the townsfolk begin to whisper, donning various talismens to ward off the evil. Sam (played by Loren Connell), d’Aspremont’s loyal servant, seems to be the only one unaffected by his master’s presence. What ensues is an argument between suspicion and rationality, but with the unfolding of unfortunate events, d’Aspremont suffers an excruciating doubt about his own goodness, and wonders if perhaps the townspeople are right. The play flits between amusing banter–linguistic sparring matches between Alicia Ward (played by Zia Okocho) and her suitors–and philosophical argument. The antiquated style of speech facilitates the transition between subjects and even affords some humor. The servants, Sam and Maria (played by Betty Lorkowski) create interludes of flirtation under the noses of their masters, showing a second face of character. That, coupled with the brightly colored (almost clown) costumes of  actors on  an otherwise austere set of white furniture enhance the playfulness of the production. And performances of Glenn Potter as Sir Joshua Ward, (who appears to be wearing a bowling ball under his jacket to serve as an old-man belly ), and the gloved and dandy macabre of Count Altavilla (played by Jim Hicks) soften and seduce the audience into laughter, despite the otherwise serious themes of the play, namely: prejudice, self-loathing, violence, superstition, and (even) sexism and class. The climax thus comes as a shock, for suddenly the world at hand, where magic has only been the joke of gossip, falls terribly apart. In the end one is reminded that real, albeit dramatic, lives are at stake. A thoroughly impressive production in its own right, it’s a phenomal accomplishment for Kapolka.

Act One Studios

640 N LaSalle Dr, suite 535 (between Ontario and Erie Sts)
Old Town/River North, ChicagoMap

312-787-9384

El: Red to Grand. Bus: 65, 156  | Directions

Tickets: $15

Tonight–Sat 8pm

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