It's hard to ignore the common elements of the two shows currently running here at A Red Orchid Theatre, especially when you realize that it wasn't exactly intentional. Both shows are about siblings and family. The New Electric Ballroom delves into three sisters' emotional and psychological scars, while The Earl depicts three brothers giving each other actual scars.
Both shows also question the appropriate role of the siblings within the family. The older sisters in Ballroom obsessively relive their past in hope that the youngest will learn from their mistakes, teaching her to fear the world outside and to find safety in their home. So what are they ultimately denying her? The long-absent brother in The Earl returns home and is chastized for leaving. The brothers who remained at home have been involved (at least somewhat) with the care of their mother, and have (at least somewhat) the care of the brutal game the brothers play. Was he wrong to leave, wrong to trust his brothers as keepers of their tradition?
Both shows offer an interesting story, intriguing characters, and as many layers of meaning as you are willing to peel away.
Both will make you feel better about your disfuntional family.
Both are showing at A Red Orchid Theatre.
Tickets for The New Electric Ballroom can be purchased here, or by calling the box office at A Red Orchid Theatre.
Tickets for The Earl can be purchased here, or by calling the box office at The Inconvenience.