The City Sentinel, Staff Report
Oklahoma City Rep, Oklahoma’s award-winning professional theatre, will present the Oklahoma professional premiere of “Every Brilliant Thing,” starring OKC native actor Jon Haque and directed by stage/film/television veteran and OKCRep affiliated artist Linda Kay Leonard. ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ is presented in community partnership with the Green Shoe Foundation. The production runs September 6-22.
The script strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter. The hit off-Broadway one-character show, written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, is one of the most produced new plays in America. The play recounts a life lived in the shadow of great sorrow. Every Brilliant Thing is, the OKCRep staff says, “a unique theatrical exploration of love, loss, depression and the lengths we will go to for those we care about.”
Every Brilliant Thing opens as a narrator/host greets the arriving audience with handwritten notes instructing them to participate when called upon. He then proceeds to tell a story spanning nearly three decades and several life-changing events, starting with a young boy’s eye-opening first brush with death (his childhood dog), evoking laughter and tears in equal measure. The narrator/host charms spectators into helping tell the story, with some acting opposite him in various roles — a veterinarian, his father, his college lecturer, his fiancée — fostering an intimate sense of community through comic dialogues.
Critical praise for Every Brilliant Thing was overwhelming. From The Guardian (UK): “One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.” From The New York Times: “…[V]ery charming…offers sentimentality without shame…guaranteed to keep your eyesbrimming…[The script] balance[s] acuity and affability…with unobtrusive artistry…captivating…”
The star is Jon Haque, who has enjoyed an arts career as an actor, director, producer and a theatrical non-profit leader in Oklahoma City and the region for the past decade.
Director Linda Kay Leonard has been involved with Oklahoma CityRep from the very beginning, directing and choreographing the inaugural production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” This is Linda’s eleventh show at OKCRep.
Every Brilliant Thing will be presented in the CitySpace Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall, 210 North Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. The production is rated PG-13 due to adult situations and language.
Tickets are $10 (students, teachers and military personnel, with ID), $30 (groups of eight or more) and $40 (evening & matinee performances), and may be purchased by calling the Civic Center box office at (405) 594-8300 or online at www.cityrep.com.
The performance schedule is: Friday, September 6 7:30 p.m. (Opening Night), Saturday, September 7 1:30 (Opening Matinee) & 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 8 1:30 p.m.
The show will continue on Friday, September 13 7:30 p.m., Saturday, September 14 1:30 & 7:30p.m., and Sunday, September 15 1:30 p.m.
The final weekend schedule is Friday, September 20 7:30 p.m., Saturday, September 21 1:30 & 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 22 1:30 p.m. (Closing Matinee)
For more information, visit cityrep.com or call (405) 848-3761.
Note: Publisher Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.
The City Sentinel print edition is available (still just 10 cents) early in every month at Barnes & Noble, 6100 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, 73112.