'A Year Of The Stolen Light'

The dark world that encompasses audience
members for 70 minutes in the play "A Year of
Stolen Light" by Alex Aves is a whirlwind of emotions and intense chemistry.

The play takes place in an abandoned house of a recently departed poet where main characters Ziggy, played by Alex Aves, and Brad, played by Justin Zachary, are stuck
spending the night as a snow storm rages
outside in a Colorado town. Throughout
the evening the two characters battle
it out with one another about their
tortured past, drug addictions, and an
undying love.

The set is designed around a pile of
books, an old couch, and a couple boxes
with candles filling the stage's light.
The set design by Potsch Boyd does
a great job of reflecting the emotions
in both characters for one another:
disarray, yet inviting and comfortable.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep the
audience interested for the entirety of
the play when the focus is solely on two
characters and their conversation with
one another. But this play captivates and
keeps audience members craving for
more as the two actors bounce energy
off one another.

Aves plays the torn apart junkie,
Ziggy, who battles with the demons from
her past and present while keeping her
guard up from old lover Brad and the
emotional pain he has inflicted on her by
leaving her a year ago with no goodbye.
The intensity in her performance
makes you forget that she's an actress
reciting lines because the fluidity of her
performance is flawless. Real emotions
are released in her lines and the anguish
in her voice is undeniable.

Ziggy's counterpart is Brad, a young
man in search of Dante's Inferno lost
somewhere in the stacks of books on
stage. His old friend and mentor has
died recently and left his world upsidedown.
His steady performance holds the
theatre together as he counters Ziggy's
out of control emotions and despair for
the two lovers' scarred past. The two
performers have great chemistry that is
evident in the charged emotions that fly
back and forth through fighting words
and desperate acts of passion.

The cold night that is the background
for the play is the backbone for the plot
and the use of light is a constant presence.
One of the lines by Ziggy in the play
leaves audience members with much to
ponder as she tells Brad that a psychic
warned her that "people are gonna
want to steal your light." The fragile
character is falling apart at the seams
and being pulled further and further into
a vortex of abuse, drug addiction, and
homelessness. Brad is a warm shoulder
for her to lean on and a strong mind for
her to bounce off of.

The play is full of dark humor and
behind the anger both characters feel
towards each other is a deep passionate
love that audience members find
themselves rooting for. Both characters
are likeable and reflects the immense
talent of both Aves and Zachary.

Director Tim Mcneil does a great
job of bringing together the play and
leaving audience members with a
sense of completeness. The flow of
the play was ideal and the lines spoken
by both performers worked well with
each other.

Aves worked as both playwright and
actress. This is her first full-length play
to be staged. The intensity of the story
leaves audience members sucked into the
force of Ziggy and Brad's relationship.
There is such sadness, but it is balanced
out with a few jokes, which lightens the
mood enough to keep people engaged
and interested, without the story being
too depressing and dark.

The play runs from Oct. 26 through
Nov. 23 at the Stella Adler Theatre
located at 6773 Hollywood Blvd. Ticket
prices are $10.