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Review: Shivaree

Tyler Gillespie reviews Four Humours production of William Mastrosimone's play

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Hemophilia is an inherited disorder in which blood does not clot properly, so even minor cuts can result in substantial blood loss. Some hemophiliacs, like Chandler, the character at the heart of Shivaree, develop a fear of the outside world.

  Chandler (Mason Joiner) has never had a girlfriend, nor even touched a girl, and he wants to have sex. He saved money to pay ice cream-man-turned-middleman Scagg (Blake Buchert) to set up his first "date" with a prostitute named Laura (Rebecca Hollingsworth). Chandler must be careful because of his disorder, but it does nothing to diminish his desire for intimacy. Things do not go according to plan on Chandler's Star Wars bed sheets, but the exchange between the two is funny and clever.

  Most of Shivaree takes place in Chandler's room. Because of his hemophilia, Chandler's mother (Cammie West) does not want him to leave his room, and she is in constant contact via a walkie-talkie check-in system. West played the mother in a nuanced way, smothering him while convincing him it's for his own good. Their relationship becomes complicated when she reveals how much she has sacrificed — including her time and marriage — to help him manage his life.

  But Chandler doesn't feel like he's living a full life. His chance meeting with the belly dancer Shivaree (Ashton Akridge) compels him to confront his mother about her overbearing nature and face his fear of the outside world. Written by William Mastrosimone (The Woolgatherer, Cat's Paw) and directed by Jane McNulty, this Four Humours show was fast-paced and the dialogue kept up with the emotional torrent. Love can be hard, especially for people who bruise easily.

  Shivaree was a show worth leaving home to see. — TYLER GILLESPIE

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