"Two and a half stars

Buck Creek Players; directed by Kari Ann Stamatoplos

OK, I am a fan of the weird and random. But there were two elements of Defying Gravity that had even me slack-jawed with confusion. The first was that Claude Monet (yes, as in the long-dead French painter) was a major character in the show about the 1986 Challenger disaster. I’m sorry, but that is just too out there to be metaphorical. The second element was a scene in Act 2 that had a retired couple decked out in body glitter and bad space-age ’60s garb describing sex in zero gravity. Not only did the scene feel like a non sequitur with ugly costumes, but I did not need to know that the wife’s boobs looked great in space, thank you very much. Paradoxically, there were two performances in the show that were fantastic, hence the middling star total. Lynn Burger as Christa McAuliffe’s daughter was very good at exploring the effect the Challenger had on her as an adult and as a child. And Mark Kamish as C.B., part of the NASA ground crew, delivered an incredibly moving monologue in Act 2. He volunteered to write to McAuliffe’s daughter on behalf of the entire ground crew, and in his scene we see his anguish and guilt because, while he is one of many, he feels personally responsible for the explosion. His portrayal of the wrecked man was exceptional. So there you have it. From anachronistic painters, to heart-rending monologues, to boobs in space. Random. Through Oct. 2; 317-862-2270.

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