Touching Two Hander in Oak Park
Siena Marilyn Ledger’s charming Man and Moon now on view at the Madison Street Theatre in Oak Park contemplates life, death, illness and the vastness of the universe in 90 minutes. A co-production of Dragonfly Theatre Company and The 16th Street Theater NFP, it is set in the waiting room of a cancer treatment facility. Aaron, a transitioning man dealing with breast cancer, encounters Luna, a twelve year old with an obsession for astronomy whose mother has been fighting cancer for most of her life. Played by Peter Danger Wilde (Aaron) and actual preteen Clare Wols (Luna) they are an unlikely pair to develop a friendship, but they are bound together by loneliness and the commonality of facing mortality. Hayley Procacci has directed these talented actors with a light hand, letting them free to find the deep truth, humor and irony in their situation and they lead us through the interminable waits of cancer treatment to a sweet ending that tells us as much about the human condition as it does about who these souls are: lost but continuing on, trying to find themselves in a big universe. The show is quite intimate: the storefront puts these two practically in your lap.
The contrast between the small brutal physicality of dealing with cancer and the expansiveness of the universe allows both a visceral and intellectual journey with these characters. I might quibble with the sound and light device used to indicate passing time which seemed to distract from the specific reality of the play's action, but Man and Moon remains a moving testament to unlikely friendships wherever you may find them and the quiet bravery of living with a potentially terminal illness .
Man and Moon is playing at the Madison Street Theatre, 1010 Madison Street in Oak Park, Thursdays through Sundays until November 13, 2022. There also is a virtual version that runs a pre-recorded performance on specific nights and times. For tickets and information go to https://16thstreettheater.org/event-calendar/
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