237 VIRGINIA AVENUE – Written by David Myers; Directed by Nick Chase and Pesha Rudnick. Produced by Local Theatre Company (Presented at the Savoy Event Center, 2700 Arapahoe, Denver) through May 19. Tickets available at 720-600-7082 or Localtheaterco.org. 

What a joy it is to see two actors at the top of their game duke it out over a piece of property – be it a game of Monopoly or a real-life homestead. David Myers’ new play explores the history of a piece of land from 1654 to the present days. Jumping back and forth from historical to current, they present the generations of people who have owned, lived on, tended to and abused their legacy of land. The (im)moral decisions made by the landowners through the Indian wars, the Revolutionary War, slavery and into modern times ultimately lead to the house now standing on the land being used as a blackmail tool of the father against his only heir. 

While in many ways this is a sorry tale, the playwright and actors have found humor in many of the situations. Instead of it becoming a maudlin exploration of woe and moral ambiguity, it becomes an all too authentic tale of family disintegration. 

Larry Hecht and Jacob Dresch play the warring family members. The time travel – while enhanced by subtle changes in costume, the voiceover announcement of the past years, and a change of light – is also made crystal clear by the actor’s change of attitude, style of dialogue, and adjustment of posture. As an audience member, you are never unsure of the era being illustrated and your place in the story. 

The co-directors, Nick Chase and Pesha Rudnick, found the humor in the script while not sacrificing the seriousness of the subject matter. The look of the play is more or less created by Markas Henry who designed the set and costumes and found the props that placed the play firmly in the era being shown. Working on a raised platform with a table and two chairs, a historical drama was created. The lighting and sound enhancements were designed by Sean Mallary and CeCe Smith. Loved the choice of Rosemary Clooney music to announce a scene from 1957 and a potential redlining incident. 

It always adds to the pleasure of the evening to return to the charming Savoy Events Center. If you haven’t been there yet, find an excuse to go. Maybe this show?? 

A WOW factor of 8.75!! 

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