alice’s review

September 20, 2008

San Diego Theatre Scene Teen Perspective

by Alice Cash


With the creation of the new Residency Program at the La Jolla playhouse, Artistic Director Christopher Ashley certainly chose the right company to push the limits on theatre.  Mo’Olelo, created by Seema Sueko will perform two shows in residence this year.  Their first piece, Night Sky, opened this week.

Personally, my favorite style of theatre, experimental, Sueko pushes the barriers of commonplace theatre down, astounding the audience and performers alike.  This experimental touch brings to life shows one would never think of before in new and exciting ways.  Night Sky captures this essence completely creating absolute silence after the show.  Coming to a student matinee of rowdy teenagers, they were completely still after the show, not moving or talking, stunned into silence.  And that’s how I felt too, stunned by this piece of work.

For you AP Psychology students, this is your type of show!  It definitely helped me study for my test later that week.  The story is about a professor of the Stars who gets into a bad car accident.  Her left-brain is no longer functioning, thus all of her language skills from writing to speaking are gone.  The play deals with how society treats her after this accident occurs.  But the fantastic part of this performance isn’t the story, it is the way the story was put together, and how creative the interpretation of this tale was.

With Sueko in the leading role, there was not a doubt that the show would be bad.  This multi-talented woman left your heart feeling wrenched by this gushing piece.  Opposite Sueko was Tom Andrew as her husband, an opera singer with a bit of a temper and the grown up Bibi Valderrama (she was Tiny Tim many years ago) as their middle-school daughter.  Also in the killer ensemble were Nicole Gabriella Scipione, Justin Snavely, and Brian Mackey.  Coming to life at certain points in the story and freezing at other, they were mostly all on stage the whole time.  Going about their work but always totally believable.

David F. Weiner designed the set, rising high up into the sky a layer of stairways, collapsing with open spots to see through them.  Paul Peterson designed the ominous sound with pulsating rhythms like the starlight above with stars and lights hanging all over the theatre plunging the audience into the scene designed by Jason Bieber.  Jeannie Marie Galioto designed costumes. 

Directed by Siobhan Sullivan, Night Sky is sure to stagger you into the different ideals theatre can explore.  Sullivan’s directing is incredible from all the little things she put into it like a balloon exploding showcasing the big bang theory and the stage pictures of the piece, I can’t wait to see what is up next in her career.  If you want to see Night Sky, act fast, because rumor has it that there are only four tickets left for Mo’Oleo’s entire season!  This is a play for teens and adults. I am even insisting that my mother attends this show.  She normally doesn’t come with me, but I will make sure she gets over to this one!  You can go online to or call (619) 342-7395 for more information!  It plays through September 21st.


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