Orange County Theatre Reviews

Written by Patrick Chavis 

When you talk about a war not lacking in coverage, WW2 might be the most covered war in America’s history (no actual research on this). Because of P1010091this serious saturation of media, we are all very familiar with this period– Nazis were vicious, Hitler was a huge prick, and there was, of course, a serious loss of life in the infamous death camps, which are now the standard by which many people measure humanity’s capacity for evil. They are vitally important stories, but since they are told so often, I don’t usually jump at the chance to see another one of these shows. And it occurs to me, do I need to see another WW2 show? Maybe Schindler’s List got it right the first time.

It turns out the answer to my question is yes. After watching Ingrid Garner, granddaughter to author Eleanor Garner, act out a play based on Eleanor’s life story, the answer is a resounding yes. The space brings with it the realization that this story I have heard over and over again was not that long ago.   It is still very relevant and worthy of attention. All alone, Ingrid Garner tells us a passionate and youthful story about the dangers of war and its destructive power on everything it touches. This story is taken from the perspective of a young Eleanor, who was very much a child when her family made the mistake of moving to Germany during WW2. While watching this play, we grow up with Eleanor as she learns how to adapt to Nazi Germany and experiences a life vastly different from her American one. 

Photography credit: Richard Maritzer

Photography credit: Richard Maritzer

In the background are two chairs, a box, and a well-placed projector that shows various photos and old stock footage from the Garner family in both the US and Germany. Just like Ingrid,  the chairs and box are transformed during the play. They become bomb shelters, furniture, and even human beings.

Eleanor’s Story is a wonderfully minimalist play, and Ingrid Garner works exceptionally well in this, bringing with her a fresh perspective on WW2 not often seen in the mainstream media. The transformation of her voice and dedication to each character is phenomenal. If you can get over the unimaginative set, you are in for an exciting theatre experience. 

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My Review
8 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros

- New interesting perspective on World War 2.
- Strong interesting acting the entire show by one actor.
- Powerfully emotional moments.

Cons

-Unimaginative set.
-Slightly distracting props.

Summary

Eleanor's Story is a wonderfully minimalist play and Ingrid Garner works extremely well in this, bringing with her a fresh perspective on WW2 not often seen in the mainstream media.The transformation of her voice and dedication to each character is phenomenal. If you can get over the unimaginative set, you are in for a very interesting theatre experience.

Story10
Acting10
Set & Design5
Costumes5
Entertainment10
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