In a very common and usual field, sometimes a twist needs to be added to the average to create the extraordinary. This is exactly what the play “The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead” captured and portrayed. By doing seven totally different characters, this monologue play caught the interest and utmost attention of every single audience in the Dallas Theatre Center located at Downtown Dallas, Texas. The play was performed by a single actress by the name of Annalee Jeffries, changing costumes and varying personifications to attain the role of five women and two men. This alone makes the play really interesting and worthwhile to watch. I would personally categorize this play as a type of art, for it really challenges the viewers to think beyond what is presented. The form and aesthetics are explicitly shown, but the concept and meaning must be dug from deep within to truly understand the piece.
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Each scene was composed first of a dark silhouette, allowing the actress to change clothes. Then the character reveals itself, and talks in a monologue fashion about the story. The thing stressed here is that each character has his or her own interpretation of the story’s plot. Different views and points were then suggested by each, but no concrete idea would be derived from a single scene. That’s why the most striking part of the play is probably the final scene when Rhonda, the main character focused by the story, is found jailed and visited by the daughter of the woman she killed about 10 years ago. This scene greatly affected me, and upon all the revelations only would the whole story make sense and be completed.
The final scenes are very important because they rap up everything that happened. From here, we can come to some conclusions to answers hanging ever since the beginning of the play. For example, now we know that Rhonda killed the lesbian partner of a Doctor Alex Doucette, mistaking her as the mistress. Also, we found out that the teenager portrayed before is directly related to these women and that his losing of his mother made him mentally unstable.
Another thing about the last scene is the courage shown by the fourteen-year old daughter. It would be really hard for someone to actually forgive a woman who killed your mother for no legal reason at all. In defense, the mother was only mistaken for someone else, therefore having done nothing evil and direct to Rhonda. It would then be uncomfortable and awkward just to sit and talk with the woman’s murderer. But the daughter pulled everything off, and eventually even forgave Rhonda. This would be one of the highlights of the play, since it brings out two values prevalent in kids. First is having the courage to step up and face whatever is bringing you down, and then the innocent and forgiving soul of children. These serves as a reminder to many on how to deal with matters like this, that sometimes it would be better to follow a child’s heart.
Finally, the strength of the final scene lies in its “truth and consequence” part of the story. It was here when Rhonda, and the audience, found out the dark cold truth about many things. Such as that Lynette mislead Rhonda to kill another woman, and ended up marrying Rhonda’s husband after she went to jail. Or that the fourteen-year old daughter of the woman that Rhonda killed was blind. Also, the consequences of her actions were seen in the twelve years sentenced to her. Things such as these can be seen as lessons or insights on what actually happened during the story.
Taking the play as a whole, I would say that it was put together quite perfectly. Quite because although it grasps the attention of the audience, there still lingers an air of decay, where the viewers were left wandering what happened, unable to concentrate on the next scene. However, this can be seen by others as a challenge and, as a matter of fact, may increase their likeness towards the play. Aside from these, the parts were coherent enough and easily understandable, thanks to several components of the play that were well made and nicely put together. The costumes are one of the important elements that made the division of the characters possible. They dictate what part is going on and how this character differs from the previous one. The changing of clothes also gave the play ample time to allow the events to sink into the mind. Also, it adds to the depth and texture of the play. The portion of the play when the actress dresses in shadows lifts up a certain feeling of transformation, that excites the audiences on what is about to happen next.
Aside from the costumes, the set design and the lights also did their parts in the play. To reinforce the area being portrayed by the actress, a screen was provided on top, reflecting the current scene on the stage. The use of many different lights also added to the feelings of the play. Warm colors would evoke terror and anger while cool and mellow colors add to the solemnity and peacefulness aspect of the scenes. On the stage also were seven chairs. Each of these chairs was removed as the lights dim after every scene. This is a very symbolical method of showing the end of a scene. Each chair represents a separate character, and removing them would signify the end of the role that they played in the story.
As I leave the theater, two main ideas remained stuck to my head. One is how powerful a monologue can be. Usually plays are performed with many actors and actresses, but this play did very well using only one. By using only one being to portray several roles, the essence of that actor or actress increases by each scene that he or she does. I think it has something to do with the build up of emotions and characters inside that allows him or her to express himself or herself freely and full of energy. Second is the moral lesson of the play which spins around truth and trust. These are very fragile words, and sometimes cannot be found together. It was only in the end when the truth came out that Rhonda realized who she can and can’t trust. Overall, my experience was really worthwhile. The play “The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead” made me appreciate more the art of theater, especially the monologues.
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