Community College play performances worthy of Tony Award

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The best play you will get to go to this decade opened Thanksgiving weekend at Walla Walla Community College’s China Pavilion.

Director Kevin Loomer shatters his Mr. Nice Guy persona with Sam Shepherd’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Buried Child,” a psychologically macabre epic of family disintegration.

Loomer’s directorial demand for detail, nuance and excellence has resulted in seven stunning performances of their lifetimes from his accomplished cast. These are not student performances. These are tour de force portrayals of the worst family reunion of which you could ever dream.

Todd Oleson rages. Patty Leeper cloys. Dana Crist towers. Sara Fry tantalizes. Nathan Loomer disintegrates. Scott Anderson terrifies. Mark Raddatz vexes.

For 10 years I have photographed, filmed and watched plays in Walla Walla. Nothing approaches the consummate skill of these performances. Each performer is superlative. Each actor leaves everything they have on stage. Everything!

The committee for the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theater rarely makes it off Broadway, but in the case of this performance of “Buried Child,” I’d suggest a covey of Lear jets leaving JFK International right now. Locals should hire a limo or take a cab out into the low clouds of rime ice and step into this darkly gleaming and chilling show. At least designate a driver.

The play starts at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

David Walk

Walla Walla

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