Innocent Rose, Happy Rose, Brave Rose, Sad Rose, Pregnant Rose, Evil Rose

Small stage. Staggered seating bleachers on three sides. Dark and snowing. Concentrated like a stream of water whose droplets float twisting eventually to land on the shoulder or forehead or strains of hair.

No special effects or computer graphics. Just ingenious staging and costumes and choreography the story to the forefront it brought. Very imaginative. The intimate stage with audience is emotional. A chance to touch stars; the actors.

Rose and the Rime Playbill Carnival Studio Theater April 26, 2014
Rose and the Rime Playbill Carnival Studio Theater April 26, 2014

What is a Rime anyway? The same company that produced The Sparrow performs Rose and the Rime – The House Theatre of Chicago. This being my second attendance of up close theater and I’m quite impressed though not that I carry any official artistic pedigree to judge.

The whole town is lost to a memory that few remember. Many simply follow the crowd and no one understands the origin of their living. Cyclical. Repetitive. There’s always an evil witch and this witch stole a magic ring or rock. It was something small. The elder and most sensible towns person, Rose’s uncle, recounts stories about life before the witch’s spell cast forever cold cold days over the town. Evidently, the witch killed her parents or just one perhaps.

Predictable for the young, optimistic, and slightly naïve, Rose determined to find the witch ventures at night, experiences a storm a rime and ultimately kills with the witch. Now why would she leave at night?  A heroine Rose is the town’s toast. Fighting the witch wasn’t easy, but the light or ring or rock or whatever it was that gave the witch’s power is now with by Rose. The season changes and summer enters. The trapped town in 1950s America what with the bathing suits. A boy she meets, but the boy’s brother appears. Two brothers one Rose. Feeling chided the boy takes revenge on his brother soon. Poor Rose, she’s pregnant by the boy’s brother. Happily they live and everything goes their way. And since happiness is envious the boy riles up the town’s folk into a jealous riot. The ring or rock must be shared because everyone wants to as happy as Rose and the boy’s brother.

Let’s make this quick. So the town rebels. This has happened before as the uncle knows. Try the uncle does to separate Rose from the town groping for the ring. The bad boy gives the uncle a Mike Tyson punch and red square chunks of confetti burst and swing. He’s dead. The boy’s brother, Rose’s baby daddy. Dead. How? I don’t remember. And boy does Rose get angry mad. She goes berserk and becomes the best looking witch I’d every want to see. Angry evil witches and bubble butts apparently are a wonderful combination. (I only say this because the actress playing Rose had a fabulous derriere and I desperately tried not to stare and ruin the experience. But I did and that’s how I know about Rose’s butt.) The baby, found in the oven of Rose’s home, is save.

The story repeats itself you see.