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KLCC Theater Review - Man and Moon

PR1_MAN AND MOON.jpg
Photo courtesy of Oregon Contemporary Theatre
Left to right, Nina Kohl and Dmitri Rose.

Now playing at Oregon Contemporary Theater, Man and Moon, by Siena Marilyn Ledger, is a two-person show whose title clearly identifies the characters. The man is Aaron, a young transitioning man recently diagnosed with cancer.

In a waiting room for oncology patients, he meets 12-year-old Luna, a precocious girl who loves outer space, planets and theories of time. She spends a lot of time there while her mother has cancer treatments, and is so excited to have Aaron as a captive audience that she nearly defies gravity. Her mother has been ill for years and Luna really needs some happiness, wherever she can find it. Gradually, over subsequent meetings, Aaron and Luna develop an unlikely but deep friendship.

As directed by Eric Braman, the outstanding actors, Nina Kuhl as Luna and Dmitri Rose as Aaron, show us how two very different people can learn to understand, appreciate and support each other.

Luna is in constant motion, spinning, bouncing, twisting, chattering. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more expressive with body, face and voice. Plus, she dazzles with her clothes, lots of color, lots of rhinestones flashing like stars.

Aaron is the opposite. His baggy clothes hide his body; a fringe of blue hair nearly covers his eyes. He tries to hide his emotions but he truly empathizes with Luna. In spite of their age difference, they are both lonely and uncertain about the future.

Man and Moon is a short play without intermission. It ran long the night I saw it, and the script gets sluggish toward the end. Luckily, the play is being presented by several theaters as part of a national development program, and the author will have valuable feedback for rewrites.