Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wilson Loria's "The Habit" at Silver Meteor

At one level, Wilson Loria's solo play The Habit sounds simple enough: A woman who happens to be a nun and a nurse, defined, confined and crushed by her roles has a new charming patient enters her life and she runs off with him. In reality, from the first five minutes, The Habit is a torrent of emotions that sweeps you far away to an intimate and familiar place.

The monologues and dialogues are often in a rich, throbbing ecstatic style. The frenzied unfulfilled passions the nun experiences reach shrill, fevered, poetic pitches,  and at times slow down to metered thoughts. Her new patient, suffering from pneumonia, is a bad boy. Street-wise, worldly, silver-tongued, and charming. His accounts of his life and family are somewhat similar in form and pace to the nun's. Both are laced with references to Lot's wife, astrology, and much, much more. The attentive theater goer soon realizes that there are points of correspondence in their lives, and later, that some of these stories prefigure later events in the play. These connections exponentially multiply possibilities between and within the characters. Their complexity is enough to put the audience in a similar state of mind to that of the characters.  At one point you realize you're not sure there were two real characters to begin with. One may have dreamt the other into being, or perhaps Loria and the viewer's mind breathed life into both of them.

The Habit is strong throughout. There's a recorded soundtrack that plays at times, sometimes as the voices in the characters' heads, others as a kind of chorus. The characters embody the psychic energies of the sacred and the profane and how they interact. There are many incredibly beautiful, poetic lines in this play, images that will stay with you. Many great dances, one by the nun whose intensity is awesome to behold. Songs and accordion playing. I found myself recalling lines, and considering possibilities right before going to sleep. 

Congratulations to Wilson Loria for a well-honed and intensely human experience, and to Michael and Silver Meteor for hosting the play.

October 21, 22 @ 8 PM and October 23 @ 4 PM (In ENGLISH)
Silver Meteor - 2213 E. 6th Avenue – YBOR CITY – Tampa (Right in back of the famous Columbia Restaurant)
For info. and tickets, call (727) 656-8053

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