The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Mu Performing Arts, performing in the Kilburn Arena at Rarig Center

Sun Mee Chomet and Sherwin Resurreccion in The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up. Photo by Rich Ryan.

Sun Mee Chomet and Sherwin Resurreccion in The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up. Photo by Rich Ryan.

The play has a clever title: The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (Mu Performing Arts, performing in the Kilburn Arena at Rarig Center, through 9/18). What better response to life in an insane world? Let’s blow some shit up! Ha ha! Of course, in France or Israel they might not find the idea amusing. But never mind that.

Carla Ching‘s The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up tells the story of Max and Diana, our eponymous “kids” (although they seem pretty mature, even as children), New Yorkers, thrown together by circumstance, by the volatile passions of their (never seen; this is a two-hander) parental units, by Chinese lessons, by death, by the setting out together on the wild adventure of their lives. Diana is a not-terribly-successful artist, Max an inveterate gambler who teaches on the side. They alternate between loving each other and thoroughly pissing each other off. The relationship that emerges is unusual, fraught, ripe with possibility – and very very affecting. “I want to be buried next to someone who understands me.” Cling to your soul-mates, this play tells us. Life sends us so few.

The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up tells its story, it should be mentioned, non-linearly. IOW, the play jumps peripatetically around. We see Max and Diana as teen-agers, then in their 30s, then their 20s. Etcetera. This really works. It creates great suspense: what will we discover next?

The Two Kids features performances by two of the area’s finest actors: Sherwin Resurreccion and Sun Mee Chomet. Not surprisingly, they are wonderful. Two character plays can be difficult; there is great danger of dull sameness. But Chomet and Resurreccion avoid this trap, mining the material for character levels, for drama, finding comic energy, passion. What emerges from their work is depth and real love. They mesmerize.

Director Randy Reyes deserves great credit for shaping these performances and for finding variety in the play.

So why didn’t The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up really grab me?

Here’s why: scene transitions. Too often, (The Two Kids has 14 scenes), the plays grinds to a halt while the minions in black tee shirts scurry about, striking props, setting up props, helping the actors change, moving the marvelous boxes about. In the meantime, the play’s energy disappears. Momentum dies.

The boxes! Reyes and his set/lighting designer, Sarah Brandner, have created a terrific playing space filled with cardboard boxes. These create a delirious sense of impermanence, a sense that life is moving too fast for Max and Diana to keep pace. Perfect.

The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up can be frustrating for sure but the work of Sun Mee Chomet and Sherwin Resurreccion make it a must see.

John Olive is a writer living in Minneapolis. His screenplays A Slaying Song Tonight and The Deflowering Of Young Father Trimleigh are under option. Please visit his informational website.

 

 

 

 

1 comment for “The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Mu Performing Arts, performing in the Kilburn Arena at Rarig Center

  1. September 13, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve seen Chomet’s work many times. In this play, as always, she’s brilliant. Resurreccion seemed familiar but here I was stunned by his quiet power, his presence, his multi-layered performance. Bravo.

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