Marriages age, kids come, romance dwindles, the eyes wander; all of these are potential problems that affect over 50% of all marriages in the United States and are active part of the daily political news. Craig Wright’s Orange Flower Water details one possible outcome. Director Jerry Pilato directs the San Diego premier of this highly controversial play at 6th@Penn.
Entering through the audience to the stage two sets of newly weds sit on opposite sides of the stage. Center stage, canted at a slight angle is a bed, a bed that tells many stories.
David and Cathy (Jennifer Lee and Sean C. Vernon – Yes, real-life marrieds) and Beth and Brad (Teresa Beckwith and William Parker Shore) enter and are seated. Let the games begin. They quickly go through the cycles of marriage.
Beth and David meet, sparks fly, the chemistry creates an explosion of desire turning to passion, and their love destroys two marriages and creates a third. If that were the story, in toto, Orange Flow Water would be a short one-acter.
Playwright Wright has written an extremely believable script. Does marriage change people? Can people change? Do people actually change? His insights into the dynamics of relationships are sound. His script is laced with electric sexuality including a simulated sexual intercourse and a passionate build of Beth and David’s affair and eventual marriage. It is also laced with extensive profanity.
The cast is quite believable. Several of their curtain speeches draw the audience into their experiences, their passions, their desires, and their moments of sadness. Orange Flower Water is not a play for the faint of heart. The raw emotions are too real to many in the audience that have gone through the trauma of broken marriages, unhappy relationships, and lost loves.
Do people change? In the case of illicit lovers Beth and David, now married with a daughter, the answer is a resounding no. The real insight comes from their former spouses, Cathy and Brad. Orange Flower Water is a powerful theatre experience, but not for the weak of heart.
Jennifer Lee Vernon, Sean C. Vernon, Teresa Beckwith, William Parker Shore
Producer Dale Morris, SM Cat McEvilly, Light Design Mitchell Simkovski, Graphic Design Michael Tower
Total Rating: Two Stars
Author: Craig Wright
Director: Jerry Pilato
Date Reviewed: March 16, 2008
Dates: Thu to Sun, thru April 6, 2008
Running Time: 76 minutes with no intermission
Caution Guidance: Adult situations and language, domestic violence
3704 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA
Box Office Phone: 619 688-9210