Seven Shorts from Cooperative Performance Milwaukee
Cooperative Performance Milwaukee presents a program of seven short narratives that make for a generally fun and novel evening of programming. The show opens with a couple of abstract pieces. Stephen F. Murray’s Nesting Dolls features a non-verbal Hesper Juhnke making a journey of discovery through refuse. Once the trash has been cleared away, two dancers emerge from grassy green turf. Posy Knight and Kirk Thomsen’s Grass is Greener is wistful balletic movement through echoes of loss.
Things then become grounded in realism, comparatively speaking, in a Bill Jackson drama. Selena Milewski plays someone accusing her fiancée of immortality. The sharp sophistication of that piece gives way to lighthearted sitcom humor involving Amie Lynn Losi and Bill Molitor as a pair of comically liberal parents horrifying their wiser and worldly liberal daughter.
After intermission, Zach Schorsch delivers a dance/singing/spoken word piece that is as clear and apparently comprehensive a distillation of one person’s life as a short dramatic presentation could be. There’s a piece by Lillian Schley involving a member of the clergy and his atheist fiancée that is saved from murky theological tedium by genuine chemistry and charisma between actors Anna Murray and Matthew M. Collie. The show ends with a superhero drama by Matthew Konkle in which Zoe Schwartz charmingly plays a former hero forced to spend the rest of her life alone with an altruistic colleague played by Pam Scheferman who refuses to give up even though the world has essentially ended. Though the staggeringly brilliant potential of the premise never quite materializes, Schwartz and Scheferman’s rapport makes for an enjoyable end to the program.
Through June 17 at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. For tickets, visit cooperformke.com.