Afterglow is an intimate and challenging play that follows the story of three men through friendship, sex, love and everything in between — “The climax is just the beginning.”
A well written play that challenges social expectations, Afterglow provides a unique view into different forms of passion and shows how hard it can be to manage love in today’s society.
Its LGBTQ voice and blunt nature, with nudity and strong language, creates a rare experience. It is a beautiful slice of life and genuine in every way possible. S. Asher Gelman‘s writing pushes boundaries while simultaneously remaining honest and relatable. The script allows the audience to deeply connect to each character and see every side of the story. It questions how to maintain happiness and how something can be fixed if no one is to blame.
Brandon Haagenson, Patrick Reilly and Joe Chisholm give riveting performances and light up the stage. They provide full commitment, clear characterisation and are extremely genuine. Each character fits a strong archetype but is filled to the brim with detail beyond that.
The actors are all highly comfortable in their bodies and it shows in their physicalities and breath, but some of the moments of physical theatre seem slightly disconnected. These physical moments only skim the surface and don’t give enough time for the actors to fully dive in- it often feels forced because of this. The moments Gelman picks for physical theatre make perfect sense, but if he uses physical sequences more frequently or gives each sequence more time it could bring the piece to a whole new level.
The set and use of space is enticing and constantly refreshing. The simple use of raw bulbs wrapped around the space brings the audience into the story and connects the whole room. Lighting variation with color, intensity and type throughout the piece often feels magical. The breaking apart and re-building of the set is practical and interesting to watch. However, at times the transitions are clunky and actor’s choices within them are unclear.
Afterglow is a thought-provoking, honest, and unique piece that anyone living in New York should take the time to see. 4/5
Review written by Rebecca Ozer.
Afterglow is currently showing at the Davenport Theater until Monday 15th January 2018. For more information on the production, visit here…