A condor, a hummingbird, and a ram. What do they have in common? They all talk; some more incessantly than others. These animals captivate us and provide much laughter in Jason Williamson’s new play, A Girl Without Wings. Based on an Andean Myth, this play explores forbidden love between a girl and a condor. IATI Theater and Dramatic Adventure Theater joined forces to bring us this play and this is a great partnership. The play hits on all the major chords: comedy,sorrow, romance, and some mischief.
The play opens with a Condor, played sincerely by Matt Stannah, as he describes his daunting task of collecting prayers and delivering them to the Gods. The Gods, in turn, send their answers to the people via the Condor. Everything runs smoothly until the Condor meets Chaska, a young girl who captures his heart. The Condor falls in love and disguises himself as a human so he can meet Chaska. Janice Amaya plays Chaska with exuberance and we fall in love with her just like the Condor . Amaya and Stannah have undeniable chemistry and we all root for their love.
But the play is not just about them, the ram, played brilliantly by Ivano Pulito. serves as a confidante for Chaska. Pulito is a gem, delivering comedy and compassion at the right moments. And the hummingbirds, who steal the scenes they are in, played superbly by Mike Axelrod and Christen Mandrazo. Although they are villainous, we still love them and their mischief. Axelrod and Mandrazo are excellent, never missing a beat. Their timing is incredible and we never want them to leave the stage. Surprisingly, Chaska’s father, played effectively by Andrew Clarke, does not speak. As much as we want him to talk, when we hear him sing its as if the heavens open up.
Director Kathleen Amshoff tells this story with limited set pieces. The behavior of the actors provides a lot of insight into the world we are in. Some of the funniest and most poignant moments came out of the actors physucalities, not the dialogue. Amshoff understands the heart and soul of Wil;liamson’s play and communicates it effectively.
I could go on ad nauseam about how wonderful this production is. One could attribute it to the acting, directing, and/or writing. But the truth is, none of these components stand alone. The sum is greater than all of its parts. Simply, A Girl Without Wings soars high!
Plays now through Oct 27th 2013 at IATI Theater 64 E. 4th St https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/928322