Take Her to See
the Maco Lights
A mystical charmer
|Prologue Theatre presents|
|Take Her to See the Maco Lights|
Review by Katy Walsh
I do believe in ghosts. Not the terrorizing banshee types or the cemetery back-from-the-dead spooks, I believe my present is interconnected with the past and the future. A deja vu or prickly sensation is tethered to something that already happened or will happen. A friend once told me that he saw one of my crying ancestors always huddled within my aura. It’s odd but comforting to know I never cry alone.
Prologue Theatre presents Take Her to See the Maco Lights. The train tracks in North Carolina are haunted. Guys bring their gals up to see the headlights of this ghost train. The destination is for thrill-seekers. Those wanting their spines tingled – and those wanting other parts tingled. The *lovers’ lane* of the area holds untold stories of love and despair. A guitar-strumming narrator tells the secret story of interracial lovers that affects the past and the present. Take Her to See the Maco Lights focuses on love in the shadows and hate in the world.
Walking into the Prologue space, I’m swept away to a simpler place. John Wehrman (Boy/James Jr.) is sitting beneath a tree playing the guitar. Set Designer Dylan Marks has laid the tracks, literally, and planted the trees for this scenic illusion. Sound Designer Curtis Powell adds bird chirping and other night sounds to complete the serenity. A charismatic Wehrman eventually starts the show in an amicable and casual way. It almost feels spontaneous. The entire ambiance lulls with a simplistic charm.
Playwright Bekah Brunstetter knows how to tell a story… make that several stories at the same time and over time. Director Margo Gray effectively intertwines the two main tales together. Using the same cast, Wehrman and LaNisa Frederick (Rachel/Mattie) play lovers in 1957 and strangers in 2012. As the back and forth stories unfold, Wehrman and Frederick easily morph between bittersweet flirtation and curious cordial. They do a great job of establishing two very different relationships. Their varying chemistry combined with snippets of information make this mystery haunting. Brunstetter cleverly links all the pieces together with a satisfying and concise ending.
Take Her to See the Maco Lights or take him and soon! This mystical show only has one more week before it disappears.
Take Her to See the Maco Lights continues through June 2nd at Luna Central, 3914 N. Clark (map), with performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $16-$22, and are available at the door or online at BrownPaperTickets.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at PrologueTheatreCo.org. (Running time: 70 minutes with no intermission)
All photos by Tom McGrath
behind the scenes