CLOSE YOUR EYES AND SLEEP
WRITTEN BY: AARON RICHARD JOHNSON
PLANET CONNECTIONS THEATER FESITIVITY – THEATERS AT THE CLEMENTE 107 SUFFOLK STREET
REVIEWED BY: VERONICA ROMERO
Close Your Eyes and Sleep was all about perception and the way an individual may view their memories or any traumas. Mack is a hypnotist able to change people’s memories and the way they choose to see them. This is a case of “physician, heal thyself” as Mack, of course, has traumas of his own and the memories of his wife’s death plaguing enough that she seems to appear everywhere he goes thus he can’t move on with his new love life… to Jackson.
Ben Quinn gave Mack a brooding dark center that kept us with him every step of the way. Rocío Mendez (Katherine) played the “close friend” role with humility and heart. Samantha Aneson (Barb) gave Mack’s departed wife the obligatory haunting quality but with a reality venire making it a unique characterization, while Michael Fell (Jackson) gave Mack’s lover the openness to believe his wish was to make him happy and not be just fling; and lastly, Sarah Ettner (Jules) who is Mack’s sister that comes to visit and try to make him reconnect with his mother. Ettner took the role of the “concerned friend” and ran with it.
Undoubtedly a devotee of Ira Levin, “Close Your Eyes…” has the basic design of Deathtrap down to the bi-sexuality, but clever and very real dialogue (audience members seemed to get indirectly involved in the hypnosis sequences) and excellent performances gives this play its own signature.