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The full list of every brilliant thing, written on a wallpaper strip, t-shirt, and old notepaper.

Review – ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ at Left Edge Theatre in Santa Rosa

 

Dec 5, 2018
by Alexa Chipman

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Rather than a formal staging, the solo performance ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ feels like the audience is relaxing in a living room, listening to an enthusiastic anecdote told by a beloved relative. The lights are up throughout the play, interaction is encouraged, and Ron Severdia’s casual persona is easily approachable.

Ron Severdia gets the audience pumped up during an energetic story.

Reminiscing on a childhood overshadowed by his mother’s depression, Severdia’s character explains how he started a list of random things that brought joy, from “ice cream” to “having a piano in the kitchen.” The boyhoodnaiveté that leaving post-it notes of encouraging phrases could fix a deeply bleak existence soon gives way to reality. Despite an ever-growing pile of reasons why hope should exist, the harsh daily struggle continues.

What is remarkable about ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ is that despite exploring a troubled, dark subject, it is filled with compassion and optimism. Director Argo Thompson creates an open, welcoming environment in the intimate theater, building a sense of shared humanity between audience members.

Severdia roams through the seats before curtain, handing out slips of paper that represent pieces of the list referenced in the play’s title. Rather than a strict monologue, some in attendance are called upon to take impromptu roles and become part of the story, keeping each presentation exciting and unpredictable.

After recruiting two bystanders

While billed as a comedy by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ is tender and thought-provoking. Severdia’s quietly captivating performance and Jeff Basham’s lush sound design combine into a theater experience that you do not want to miss.

Every Brilliant Thing

Presented by Left Edge Theatre through December 9, 2018
Fri/Sat at 8:00pm, Sun at 2:00pm

Left Edge Studio Theatre at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 546-3600
www.leftedgetheatre.com

Photos from Left Edge Theatre


Author Website - http://imaginationlane.net

Travel Blog - http://vintagevinogirl.com
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook - alexachipman
Alexa Chipman Live Theater reviews

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