Sunday, January 16, 2022

Comment: Miner Lane Theater “Before Departure” is a drama worth watching

3 stars. “Before Departure” at Miner Lane Theater

In “Before You Go”, Jill Baker blew into her mother’s house with a strong wind. She was on the run-kind of-just gave some good boys to a bar in Tucson.

Her motorcycle helmet showed a red stain during the argument. She told her brother Mark that her boyfriend had returned to Los Angeles and he was a rock singer under the stage name Sammy Suicide. When Mark was able to say a word bluntly, he told her that their mother Betty was about to die.

Their brother Pat, a priest, is with her in the bedroom. Considering their mother’s condition and the family confession that will take place next, Pat’s career may come in handy.

This fascinating family drama-on the stage of Miners Alley Playhouse-announced that it was no different from Jill’s admission. A burst of energy—”I’m an actor! On the stage! Finally!”—before it settles down, it is usually smart, sometimes quietly directing.

John Ashton received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Henry Awards of the Colorado Theater Association. He wrote “Before You Go” and directed it at Miners Alley Playhouse.

Actor and member of the Colorado Theater Association Hall of Fame John Ashton (John Ashton) wrote the show. He also directs. Although this dual role is common in independent films, it is not common in dramas. Ashton served his materials and performers very well. There are mild philosophical and theological struggles between the siblings — about opioid addiction, gun ownership, the existence of heaven and hell, etc. — but the history of Jill and Mark will take center stage.

If you go

“Before You Go”, written and directed by John Ashton. Starring Billie McBride, Mark Collins, Damon Gracio, Eric Mather and Missy Moore. At Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Ave., Golden, until September 19th.Tickets are at Or 303-935-3044.

Eric Mather is wary of the arduous work of portraying Mark, who destroyed his sister’s trust decades ago. Missy Moore brings the strength of survivors and prickly alloys to Jill. If Pat-“Father Pat”-looks older than his brother, think of it as a comment on the way Mark Baker is still trapped. Collins’ Pat is a pastor of thoughtful people, because Pat himself is a thoughtful person, as thoughtful as his pastor.

The ensemble provides sharp dialogue in an agile and even talkative way. Some lines reflect Jill’s accusation against Mark: “It sounds cute and smart, but it’s often just a light and mean thing.” Yes, there is a lot of wisdom here. Nevertheless, as the three Baker brothers spend time together, what is more and more noticeable is the wisdom of the play. Most of the feeling is earned and lived.

Especially the common past of Mark and Jill requires subtle differences, so as not to get angry and blame too easily and prematurely. Ashton and his actors handled the ugliest material gently, instead of showing the typical contempt in this kind of family drama-and “before leaving” is a genre. If anything, the offense that pushed Mark and Jill into overdue liquidation was initially underestimated.

Comment: Miner Lane Theater "Before Departure" is a drama worth watching
Jill Baker (Missy Moore) responded to Mark (Eric Mather) brothers’ Step 9 Overture in “Before You Go”. (Matthew Gale, courtesy of Miner Lane Theater)

As the matriarch of the family, Billie McBride showed her style in an impressive way. She is articulate but her lines are very gentle. As the straw of Dr. Pepper and the spirits appearing entirely from her bedroom in Act Two, Betty Baker seems to be a woman who can raise these three different but interconnected souls. She is cold and has a sense of humor, and may even be kind. When she and Mark sat on the sofa and expressed their confession, her sympathy was obvious.

The ninth step often mentioned in AA requires addicts to make corrections. For the people on the receiving end, the fault may sound too little, too late. It seems more to liberate the penitents than to alleviate people’s harm in their evil deeds. How Ashton and his siblings dealt with this matter resonated and satisfied.

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