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Pretty theft touched me

LIZZI BELMONT, Design Editor

As I waited in line before the doors opened to “Pretty Theft” someone asked “What is this play about again?”
“Something about dancers I think?” Sure enough, as soon as I entered the theater, I was greeted by the sight of four dancers clad in sepia leotards, stretching and preparing their bodies for the show. A little after 7:00 p.m., the dancers suddenly announced that the play was starting, going through the regularities of “no recording or photography” and entreating the audience to enjoy the show.
I did. The play centers around the story of Allegra, (Julia Helmeid) a high school senior who begins to work at a non-descript group home for the mentally disabled. The characters invite you into her life, exposing her interactions with friends, family and a specific patient at the home. the audience is introduced to Joe, Allegra’s main charge, and his love of ballerinas. Dancers appear throughout the story, always barefoot, and often in the background. The 31 scenes in total amount to many transitions, allowing the audience and actors to “explore the connections between them,” as Director John Kauffman, (Professor of TDMS) explained.
The actors’ performances are absolutely seductive. Alen Keric is stunning, his performance increasing in beauty throughout the show. The audience is consistently engaged, aided in part by the seemingly unrelated vinginettes sprinkled throughout the play. “Pretty Theft” keeps you in a state of constant suspense.

I was riveted, the 90 minutes flying by in no time. It’s not often that art conjures a physical response in me, but I found myself regularly grabbing and squeezing my friend’s arm as doubt, apprehension, and finally understanding flooded through my mind.

Kauffman offered this about the show: “It’s very theatrical. Often plays get to a point where it feels like you’re watching a movie. This would make a crappy movie, but it works great as a play.” This statement rings true, as the ensemble constantly remain on stage, adding layers to the performance conducive only to the theater. The off kilter checkerboard sets, flourescent lighting and suggestive costumes complemented the superb acting. “It’s a bit of a puzzle,” centering around “putting beauty into boxes,” said Kauffman. In the small box of Kresge theater, the show is ahypnotic event that everyone on  campus should experience.

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