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Rush at Everlasting

Rush at Everlasting

by Arlitia Jones

Perseverance Theatre Presents – at Sydney Laurence Theatre, Anchorage

Rush at Everlasting

Runs Feb. 13- Feb. 22, 2014

Review by Tom Layou

                  Arlitia Jones has created a trio of anonymous outlaws, two of whom make a dangerous pair in 1930’s Chicago.  The duo go by the admitted aliases of Ruby Gold (Charity Pomeroy) and Africa Jade (Tiffany Nichole Greene) and represent what might be accomplished if the brashness of youth could be combined with the wisdom of age.  Africa Jade is Ruby’s maid, a young malcontent obsessed with the romantic image of Bonnie and Clyde. Ruby Gold is the de facto leader of the otherwise friendless pair, having been at a bank robbery once before.  Ruby is middle-aged, destitute and running from her past, perpetually incapable of letting another person in close, including the bank robber known as Jim Ryan (Paul Schweigert) she essentially abandons her life for.

Jim Ryan is the mysterious and oddly ethical bank robber who wanders in and out of the action through frequent flashbacks.  During these flashbacks Jim provides further back story to Ruby in the form of allegorical myths.  This tangled combination of retrospectives eventually presents an idea of how Ruby Gold wound up alone and broke in Chicago.  Ruby, in turn, tells a similar story to Africa Jade throughout the play.  Though the underlying narrative is straightforward enough, the format is awkward.

Jim Ryan is a likable character who prefers to commit his crimes without anyone being hurt.  He has a caring nature that he would like to share with Ruby Gold.  The extent of their relationship is made gratuitously clear through heavy-handed double entendre concerning a particularly desirable piece of pie.  It is worth questioning if these conversations are out of place between even rugged men and women in 1908, or whether “pie” had a sexual connotation at the time.  Any questions about the relationship would be allayed during a later discussion about stretch marks, creating opportunity to deliver the same jokes with a little subtlety.

Africa Jade is an effective portrait of youth and impulsivity, though Jones may have been out of her comfort zone in writing her.  While performed quite well by Tiffany Nichole Greene, Africa is a generic caricature that may be implausible for any time period.  She seems to be comprised of the large, extroverted black characters that people modern media.

Ruby Gold is multidimensional, though the gradual presentation of her history makes her appear more complicated than she is.  Her overall personality seems to be reflected in the most prominent feature of the set, a dilapidated but still orderly old movie screen with some boards missing but none crooked.

The dynamic of a white woman with a black maid provides a vehicle for an ongoing discussion of social imbalance.  Ruby makes a great deal of having enough “donkey money” to pay others to do her “donkey work.”  Ruby Gold submits to Africa Jade at times, but it is age and not race that determines the outcome for the conspirators.

Rush at Everlasting is longish and probably could do without a few of the flashbacks in Act I.  It is, however, complex and well thought out, withholding enough answers to leave the audience with a few things to think about.

 

One Response leave one →
  1. Rudy permalink
    February 19, 2014

    nice review sir.

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