4000 Miles Review: A young man learns to accept loss and grow up with the help of his Grandma
4000 Miles is a play about taking responsibility and facing the hard truth that life and loss is never easy
February 24, 2016
The two main characters, Leo (Connor Roman) and Vera (Kate Russell), have a good dynamic. Roman and Russell’s performances gives the audience the idea that Vera was a controlling, feisty grandmother, and Leo was a lazy loner of a grandson.
Considering this was Roman’s first time on stage, he did a good job with room for improvement. Leo’s character does have a certain awkward, indecisive personality to him, but Roman’s performance felt too disconnected at times.
The characters that weren’t the two main leads felt like they needed more substance, either more development with Leo, or worked harder as someone who encouraged Leo to grow.
Bec, played by Jazmine Herrington, is a returning actress who was one of the highlights to the play. Whenever her character needed to display emotion, she transitioned well from someone confused, to someone angry, to someone on the verge of sobbing. Herrington and Roman worked well in displaying a fleeting chemistry that neither of them want. Her expressions were clear enough to where you followed her character’s thought process on how to handle Leo’s absent-minded personality.
Amanda, played by Rachel Derosier, was another minor character who did well. Derosier is another first timer, but managed to portray a drunk joker in the scene she was in. Her jokes were delivered well, and gave a good enough idea of who this brief character is and her effect on Leo’s arc.
Later into the play, closer to the end, Leo opens up and tells his grandma about how his friend died. It was an interesting moment when the character is the most vulnerable, and doesn’t know how to handle this emotion properly. So he jests and stammers, trying to tell this mournful event without getting too serious, staying true to his character’s theme.
But this emotion the actor himself is trying to display doesn’t hit as hard as it feels it should have. The pauses worked in adding emotion to the scene, but it yet again doesn’t make you feel like this supposedly uncaring, relaxed slacker is working through the troublesome feelings and memories.
The lighting was clever, with the room being completely dark with only two dimly lit lamp shades slightly lighting the actors. It added onto the atmosphere of the scene, and was a definitive moment that both gave answers to questions that have been raised throughout the play, as well as display the moment where Leo begins to take life seriously.
The Story didn’t really illustrate Leo’s arc and growth as well as hoped. Each scene was just one after the other with no real flow to them until closer to the end. It’s still an entertaining and simple play with some good lessons in accepting maturity and reality as hard as it may be to bare.
4000 Miles’ cast is for the most part good and do well to give the audience a decent idea of who they are and what they want, and though there were a few minor shortcomings with some of the performances, the play was still worth the watch.