by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Wildly enthusiast and completely over-written, The Aeroplane, or How Low: An Autobiography (sort of), now playing downtown Los Angeles at LOFT Ensemble, with all of its crammed dialog, occasionally messy stage craft, and actor performances that need emotional reigning, thoroughly captures the inner machinations of a millennial mind on the verge of total implosion.
It’s a crap shoot as to whether Vince (played by Kristian Maxwell-McGeever) is going to emerge unscathed in his journey of witnessing key character-shaping events of his life, while in a self-induced alcohol and downers near-overdose, on a flight home to face his beloved grandfather’s death.
A lot of ‘stuff’ happens in order to get to the final act, ‘payday’ in this little bit of everything soup. When it comes, it actually turns out to be extremely moving.
Each scene is an increasingly sinister rewind of Vince’s destructive childhood and teenaged then college aged past, guided by a psyche fabricated Al (played by Jon Tosetti), who on one hand controls the pace and action but yet, convinces a confused Vince that the entire episode is of his own making — in his head.
Post Super Bowl Sunday night’s show, writer/director Mitch Rosander explained that there [‘were so many words in my brain, so many ideas’]. That is clear. It was obviously difficult for Mr. Rosander to choose which parts to leave out. A little less would be perfectly fine to serve the piece a lot more. Most of the tamer dance transitions could be shaved entirely for a single presentation of powerfully strategic impact. The device of the Fog character is not always clear. And Vince’s many outbursts could be held back for a more intense arc. Mr. Maxwell-McGeever’s character, despite all the outwardly bad behavior, is very empathetically written especially young Vince played evenly by actor Leon Mayne. And Maxwell-McGeever himself certainly has the range, power and skill to be directed for scopic emotion.
What The Aeroplane does achieve, undeterred, is phenomenal risk in the writing and presentation. Impressively so.
Mr. Rosander has penned quite a story that on one hand, exploring isolation, fear and self-worth, is simplistic, and on the other, exercises imaginative spectacle, which, in fact, in some aspects could indeed go farther into the extreme, including in the lighting and sound design, beautifully crafted by Math Richter and Suze Campagna and Dean Hovey respectively.
The Aeroplane or How Low: An Autobiography (sort of)
Now Playing Until March 6th
- Sundays: 7:00pm
- Saturdays: 8:00pm
929 E 2nd St #105
Los Angeles, CA