THE HEAL at Getty Villa

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Everyone is wounded — that’s the overarching theme of The Heal, writer/director Aaron Posner’s ironical, imaginative play about living with pain and choosing to do the right thing even if you’re unclear just what that thing might be. Those three words reprise over and over in composer/performer Cliff Eberhardt’s opening song, and they are repeated at the end, too, to make sure we get the idea: that everyone lives with their own grief, which is why we need to show compassion towards each other, always…

Both Rogers and Purry are well-cast, she as the conflicted heroine and he as a smug authoritarian villain, without conscience. But the evening belongs to Hissom, in a consummate performance as a ragged (costumes by Erika Chong Shuch), down-on-his-luck loner, his existence circumscribed by his agonizing foot and his burning sense of having been unjustly targeted by fate. In appearance and demeanor, the character reminded me of one of the homeless guys on the streets of our city one mistakenly assumes to be simple; then he opens his mouth and begins speaking with the thoughtfulness of a sane, literate and understandably angry person, tragically mired in the cracks of a corrupt system.

Read more…

Now running through September 28