I absolutely love Phil Kinen’s writing and this play is a fantastic example. His work is lyrical and invokes the time period, and every character voice is crysal clear. In Regard To Flight, Kinen drops the audience in the middle of a fanastical story of youth, love, loss, old age, and memory. It was a small, but very engaged, house. During intermission, I overheard members of the audience discuss the beauty of Phil’s Huck Eternal cycle and the desire to see a night of all of them, and one audience member mentioned In Regard To Flight was a great capstone. I have seen Huck Finn and the Mystery of the Ominous Shadow and my review can be found here.
There is so much wonderful nuance to unpack in this show. In this production, we watch two different sides of Huckleberry Finn play out in front of us, the young (Jake Leet) with Peter Pan (Roan Ricker) and Huck at the end of his life (Joshua Gleeson) with his compadre Tom Sawyer (Philip Hooser).
On the night of the play, Tom Sawyer is terminally ill and is trying to get Huck Finn to the the truth of his time in Neverland. Was Peter Pan a delusion? What was real? Did Huck actually fly? Was Huck’s son, now vanished, a figment of his imagination? This tug and pull between the two men ebb and flow between Huck’s time in Neverland. Monologues and blocking bleed into scenes from past to present, showing us how Huck’s time in Neverland kept him young at heart, and his relationship with Peter Pan still affects him. What makes this work unbelievably heartbreaking and beautiful is the universal truths of lost youth and innocence, regret, and fear. I have never seen a finer piece of acting or writing come together recently than in the speech about death given by Tom Sawyer (Philip Hooser). Perfection.
This is a hauntingly beautiful work that will break your heart but leave you hopeful. Every bit of acting, directing, lighting and scene choice is masterfully done. It is a gorgeous, woven story and is not to be missed. Tickets can be purchased here.
Author’s note: The author does her best to give credit to both actors and technical talent, and #tags everyone listed in the program even if not named in the written play response. If you feel anyone contributed to the production that was not named or tagged, or any corrections, please contact the author via the original source. All rights reserved – Jessie Salsbury — Pronouns: she/her/hers