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Review: The Angel with Blue Eyes at La Mama

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Review by Susanne Dahn Freddie Lubowitz has been active in Melbourne’s new theatre scene since 2016 as a writer, director and stage manager and is the Artistic Director and Founder of Ruby Theatre Company. Their “The Angel with Blue Eyes" was originally part of the 2019 La Mama Explorations Season staged by various directors. Now, in January 2023 as part of the Midsumma Festival in Melbourne, La Mama audiences can enjoy the seasoned production of the play as directed by Bronya Doyle and produced by Zadie Kennedy Mccracken & Andreas Petropoulos. The angel with the blue eyes is Kit whose coming out to their church-going Baptist parents was a violent disaster and caused massive ruptures in both their life and in their relationship with their two siblings, Dan and Pete. Kit is obsessed with astronomy, and reads and thinks and dreams about the stars, while being stuck on murky earth in a needy, controlling and ultimately violent relationship with Billy. Completing the cast is a one-person truth-seeing chorus, Caelus-Veritas, who successfully urges Kit to really see what is going on in their relationship and to understand that love is not its repeated pronouncement but the genuine support of a loved one’s needs and aspirations. This emerging group of artists (on-stage and off) shine with starry enthusiasm and driven energy in this production. As they each gain even more experience, they will undoubtedly master the regulation and balance of light and shade. Bridget Morrison as Kit affects the transformation from dying soul “she needs me and I love her” to great white pelican (almost) in flight, both believably and sympathetically. Their stage presence and performance is reminiscent of a young Kerry Walker. Can’t wait to see what they do next. Ann-Marie Biagioni as Caelus-Veritas is appropriately other-worldly flitting from cheerleader to sage to moral compass. Her physical occupation of the stage is impressive as is her use of voice and facial expression. Sabina Gerardi as Billy brilliantly manifests the bullies fear and lack of confidence and is amazingly touching in the still and silent final scenes after having been apprehended by law enforcement. Charlie Boscolo conveys the sweet love of older sibling Dan with consummate understated skill and tenderness. Charlie occupies this role perfectly. Ryan Tracey as second sibling Pete gives a sparkling performance transforming from callow youth to thoughtful, curious, open and loving young adult. Venus, Mars and Jupiter were all out together tonight as the three siblings unite in love and mutual support. Lines can be drawn between generations and unsuitable partners. Love is always the stronger force. Redemption and forgiveness are available. As Caelus-Veritas repeatedly urges “Look up ! At the stars.” Even when things are as grim as Oscar Wilde’s gutter, some of us will still see the stars. “The Angel with Blue Eyes" reminds us that all of us can actually see the stars and that some of us not only possess the ladder to reach the stars but are blessed with loving supporters who will hold the ladder steady for us.

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