Unchained Melody

Music and poetry, not plot, create A Place to Stand's emotional impact

Savannah Shange, the playwright's daughter, gives a superhuman quality to her character.
Michael Sexton
Savannah Shange, the playwright's daughter, gives a superhuman quality to her character.

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Through March 26, Tickets are $9-20; call 626-3311 or visit www.theintersection.org.
Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St. (between 15th and 16th sts.) S.F.

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Unfortunately, the production doesn't quite fulfill its expressive potential. Given that the musical qualities of A Place to Stand are what give the piece most of its emotional power, it's a shame that San José doesn't have his finger on the volume control dial. The work isn't long, but it's very loud, with the actors punctuating many of their lines with assorted shrieks, shouts, and wails for emotional emphasis. It's not long before the histrionics of the cast grate on the nerves. A mood of forced, desperate rage prevails over almost the entire work, hitting the same note over and over, despite the wide musical palette laid out before us. Instead of heaping on the emotion, the actors should lock themselves in a little and set the music free to do what it does best: connect with our souls.

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