Sunday, July 23, 2017


Gnaw a chicken leg and chase it down by chugging a giant glass of milk in preparation for a challenging new play by an equally new theatrical company in Ridefield, Thrown Stone Theatre. Thanks to co-producer and director Jason Peck, the U.S. premiere of Ross Dunmore's "Milk" will take place at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, 440 Main Street, Ridgefield until Saturday, August 5 (extended due to popular demand).  Peck discovered it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland last summer and brought it home for its initial airing.

"Milk" is about appetites, the need for food, for validation, for love, for connections with other human beings. It crosses generational gaps as it deals with three couples at varying stages of life and requirements. First we meet Steph, a starving for affection  fourteen year old who is consumed with passion, giving it and receiving it, totally driven by her hormones.  Alexandra Perlwitz is wonderful in her Lolita-like role as she bubbles over with plans for a future stuffed with grand ambitions.  She overwhelms her high school counterpart Ash, a conservative and shy Aidan Meachem, who does not know what to do with her excesses.  He hopes by consuming and devouring a chicken a day he will grown macho enough to satisfy Steph's unusual needs.

Next meet the abundantly pregnant Nicole, a nervous and anxious Alana Arco, who can't wait to be a mother, one human being who can nurture another, a love goddess with her milk. Her husband Danny is supportive, a reassuring Jonathan Winn, who yearns to be kind.  As a teacher, his kindness leads him to make wrong choices, especially with Steph, his student, who fancies herself a siren who can make him crash on her rocks of temptation.

Completing the triumvirate are May and Cyril, a couple in their nineties who survive on memories, of grand feasts and great heroic deeds.  Melody James and Cyrus Newitt are poignant as they huddle together at the end of life, afraid of shadows and children and dogs, awaiting death. With musical interludes breaking the patterns and two chairs and two tables as props being rearranged with emotional commentary, "Milk" continually makes statements as the couples interact across their scenes, striving for validation and redemption, thanks to strong direction by Jason Peck.

For tickets ($49, and $29 for those 29 and under), call Thrown Stone Theatre at 203-442-1714 or online at  Check the website for associated activities to enhance your enjoyment of the play.

Look for nourishment for the mind and the emotions as "Milk" feeds the stomach and the soul.

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