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The Cure

The Cure: LA Weekly

"The 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."

- Steven Leigh Morris, © LA Weekly, October 16-22, 1998

The Cure: The Los Angeles Times

"The 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.

The (Ziggurat) 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.

Three 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."

Once 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.

The father 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.

Under 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."

- Jana J. Monji, © Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1998

Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble
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