The Road Theatre Company’s second show of their 2021 virtual season leaves our shores to journey to the magical land of Iceland, a country “where we are and when we are…is often fluid.” Playwright Steve Yockey’s REYKJAVIK mixes and mingles dark comedy, murder, magic, superstition, and sex into the latest of his artistic creations. Director Ann Hearn Tobolowsky describes how she fell in love with Yockey’s “crazy humor, wacky, real, mysterious; foreign – Icelandic, but not Iceland; magical world, that made me laugh, and cry, and broke my heart.” Between the two architects of modern drama, the end result is intriguing and other-worldly.
At first, REYKJAVIK appears to be an unconnected series of events which are happening in that northern city, stories of sex intertwined with lust, guilty pleasure, eroticism, and finally violence. Woven among and between the tales are moments of weird and unexplainable events, events which may herald the future. In one story, 12 ravens observe and dissect the honesty of the relationship between two men who don’t know whether to believe or not. In another, the question seems to revolve around the love-for-sale scantily clad young man and whether he is a slave or a willing participant. In yet another, the quest to see the Northern Lights may blur the lines between dreams and fantasy, life and death. It is not until the play progresses through its eight segments that the audience begins to perceive a pattern, a series of connections or non-connections which may or may not be happening. Clearly, this is a play to challenge levels of ambiguity.
Tobolowsky’s direction unfailingly sets a course for the unreal and the magical – all in a stark human setting. The actors take on multiple roles in each of the eight segments of the drama. The talented cast features Stephen Tyler Howell, Alaska Jackson, Carlos LaCamara, Brian Ibsen, Danny Lee Gomez, and Jacqueline Misaye. The design team also deserves kudos for re-creating this eerie Reykjavik, including set design by Paul Dufresne, lighting by Derrick McDaniel, sound by Yasmine El-Tayeb, costumes by Mary Jane Miller, and projection by Nicholas Santiago.
REYKJAVIK will entertain and delight an audience ready for the slightly unreal world of its characters, with MAGIC an important word – and concept – in the creation of this northern capital city reaching out to the North Pole. Combining ideas which are beyond the realm of the real with the very grounded sexual proclivities of its inhabitants proves to be gripping and will certainly hold your attention. REYKJAVIK was filmed on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at the Road Theatre Company in North Hollywood, CA.
The show opens on Friday, May 14, 2021, and will be available to stream until Sunday, May 30, 2021. Performances can be streamed on demand. From the commencement of the stream, the recorded live performance can be viewed for 48 hours. Tickets are $25 for a 48-hour rental. Special group rates are available for community centers, educators, and university groups. For information or tickets, please call 818-761-8838 or go online.