Cure: LA Weekly
ceremony created by Stephen Legawiec takes place in a church hall
with no formal stage lighting. The audience, in two single rows on
opposite sides, faces a center-stage folding table, holding the linen-wrapped
body of a comatose girl (Zeidy Martinez). At a far end of the room,
a fire glows in the fireplace, creating the perfect ambience for a
ritual. After a minute or two of the girl’s English-speaking
father (Michael Klock) clutching his daughter’s hand, a slim,
bearded apothecary (Tim Ottman) arrives through the room’s double
glass doors and examines the child, pressing his open palm and fingers
on various points of her body. Soon he is joined by three gypsy-like
women (Dawn Saito, Lyena Strelkoff, Naila Azad), who spread candles
about the floor, harmonize in a beautiful liturgical chorale, or drum,
or converse in some Slavic-sounding language; their gestures and teamwork
are resolute; their task, urgent. We, like the father, are mute witnesses
to a dangerous exorcism, a rising wave of movements and sounds that
is hypnotically primal, sensual and supernatural. It’s like
stepping off a plane into a foreign land and being privy to a private
if enigmatic sacrament, where reason is an uninvited guest. The ceremony,
like the language, is entirely invented so cultural or historical
context is beside the point. This is among the most beautiful and
pristine theatre pieces I can remember. Were he to see it, Jerzy Grotowski
would seethe with envy."
Leigh Morris, © LA Weekly, October 16-22, 1998
Cure: The Los Angeles Times
world of faith healers and religious rituals is far removed from most
people’s lives, and in Stephen Legawiec’s intriguing one-hour
drama "The Cure," the unintelligible, foreign-sounding language
that dominates the dialogue builds another barrier. In less skillful
hands, this might prove alienating, but here it enriches the mystical
qualities of the presentation.
Theatre has chosen a large meeting room at the Hollywood United Methdist
Church for this performance and the ambience works well. The audience
enters a large room to see a young girl (Zeidy Martinez) lying on
a table at the center. Dressed in flowing white clothes and partly
covered by a sheet, she’s apparently healthy, but a man, her
father, (Michael Klock), mournfully embraces her, unable to waken
his sleeping child.
people (Tim Ottman, Dawn Saito, Lyena Strelkoff) come in, assessing
the situation, and wait for a fourth, the apparent leader, (Naila
Azad). The father anxiously realizes that none speaks or understands
any more English than "OK."
the lights are dimmed, the crackling fire in the hearth and the glow
of a half a dozen lighted votive candles create an atmosphere of spiritual
anticipation. The well-practiced quartet moves quickly and confidently.
Almost dancing with a lyrical grace, they chant and sing.
watches with growing concern until the final tagic ending. Ottman,
Saito, Strelkoff and Azad all convincingly express the total committed
ardor of healing practitioners and the emotional and physical strain
of the exorcism that takes place.
Legawiec’s direction, the beauty of the choreography and the
clarity of the motives make this drama an absorbing experiment of
sound, movement and feeling."
J. Monji, © Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1998