Christopher Chen’s “The Late Wedding” is Pear Theatre Season Finale

Silicon Valley group offers both LIVE and LIVE STREAM Viewing Until July 18th

Silicon Valley to the World – “This is a play procured under strange circumstances,” the narrator tells the audience as she strolls out and, rather emotionally, shares her joy in returning to the stage after a year of sheltering-in-place. “This play is incomplete,”she warns. “It is a made of only sketches from other plays, a hapless jumbled notebook of unfinished scenes and thoughts…”

Inspired by the writings of Italo Calvino, playwright Christopher Chen has us on the edge of our seats with The Late Wedding. We wait to hear what else we’ve signed on for… But then there is a pause. We exhale. Mistake.

“So, imagine this,” the narrator continues, “you were and still are a straight shooter, with no interest in winking second-person narrative stunts… Will you trust the play to treat you well? In the end, you want to believe in the play, believe you can forge a relationship with it. You are rooting for it to seduce you…”

And then, like a costumed horse race, the play is off and running with the narrator serving as an “anthropologist who will lead you through the journey,” and into scenes that shuffle us through “fantastical allegorical cities,” mimicking Calvino, and replacing cities with marriages, making them “invisible,” we’re told. Bobbing and weaving, Chen leaves us breathless.

Gaz Jemeel

There are six “interpretations” of marriage and relationship, including one aptly titled “Life in Lockdown” and ending with the show’s title “The Late Wedding.” Throughout this Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of play writing, we’re introduced to various hypothetical tribes of people, each group with its own way of holding what a a marriage relationship should be and what all that entails. Amongst these are the people of “Study Number One” who are “so rooted in the past their minds are complex nests of shared legends…,” and who consider the success of the relationship only as good as the ability to share accurate memories of what has already happened. “Study Number Two” Or “Marriage in Endless Honeymoon,”introduces people who believe that marriage is an endless honeymoon (would that this could be possible!); in the words of the narrator, “The euphoria of the promise is what is held to be sacred…” (again, would that this could be possible!) “Study Number Three,” or “Marriage by Death” shall remain for those who are brave to explore without a spoiler. “Study Number Four” or “Marriage of Renewal” might be near and dear to some hearts here as it expresses a bond built upon a constant need for learning new things. Anything one does needs to prove to have a revelation: “A revelation is knowledge uncovered rather than learned…”

Gaz Jemeel, Tyler Jeffreys, John S. Boles, and Stephen Kanaski

Throughout the play there are Interludes; these morph crazily into espionage bits and related vignettes, none having anything to do with the snippets on marriage… Or do they? Along the way the playwright here has thrown in some of his own musings: a grocery list, questions to himself about the procession of the play, the unfolding of ideas, relevant dialogue. The characters begin speaking the playwright’s self-queries and notes… And just when we think we might have it all figured out (or we’ve given up and are hoping to be shown the way…) we see the time has flown and the narrator has returned to remind us this is “an invisible play” and that “a conclusion’s definite shadow” might be offered… “but not quite an end…” This is a play for you if you want to feel drawn in to a set of stories- and want to feel yourself unable to be drawn out.

Tyler Jeffreys and Moshe Goodman

Director Sinohui Hinojosa is a Bay Area storyteller, community organizer,creative consultant, media instructor, film festival producer, and father and husband. His creative business interests are varied and include working with filmmakers, supporting community theater, and organizing a team of over 1,000 non-professional singers, the San Jose Pop Up Choir, in Silicon Valley.

CAST

Annamarie MacLeod Narrator

Carissa Ratanaphanyarat Lee, Raya, Mrs. Weatherby, Jean

Gaz Jemeel Adama, Jamie, Captain

John S. Boles Interviewer, General, Sailor

Moshe Goodman Curtis, Casen, Stranger, Han

Stephen Kanaski Kel, Spy, Innkeeper, Jorda

Tyler Jeffreys Fen, Evelyn, Eleanor, Ali

PRODUCTION TEAM

Producer and Pear Artistic Director: Sinjin Jones

Director: Sinohui Hinojosa

Stage Manager: Kelly Weber Barraza

Set Designer: Kevin Davies

Lighting Designer: Ben Hemmen

Costume Designer: Audra Batter

Sound Designer: Sinjin Jones

Visual Media Artists: Sinohui Hinojosa & Sinjin Jones

Publicity Director: Stephanie Crowley

Program Consultant: Susan Petit

Production Manager: Kelly Weber Barraza

Pear Technical Director: Kevin Davies

Stephen Kanaski and Tyler Jeffreys

This is the season finale for The Pear Theatre. The show will run one month until July 18th.

The Pear Theatre is located at 1110 LA AVENIDA STREET •  MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA 94043.

Audiences can see the show in person, indoors on Friday nights and Saturday mornings; live-streamed online Friday nights; or in person outdoors on Saturday and Sunday matinees, though many performances are already sold out.

For ticket information call 650/254-1148 or visit the Pear Theatre web site at https://www.thepear.org/.

Text ©2021 Michele Caprario Photos coutesy of Squirrel Visuals; used with permission

About Michele Caprario 53 Articles
Michele Caprario is a writer and editor covering great people, projects, and things that bring goodness to the world.

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