Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Five Flights 

A new comedy in five parts from Adam Bock is alternately brilliant and thin

Wednesday, Feb 20 2002
Adam Bock's funny new play is broken into five parts, or "flights," like a Russian ballet -- Narrative, Vision, Mad Scene, Conclusion, and A Little Dance -- but most of the action takes place during the Narrative section, which is pretty Mad, and tells the story of a family disintegrating after the mother dies. The husband (and father) believes her soul has entered a little wren, and builds an aviary to protect it. When the wren dies, he goes, too, and his daughter wants to replace the aviary with a Church of the Fifth Day. (God created birds on the fifth day of Creation.) The church idea causes a family crisis, and the crisis drives the play. Bock's dialogue is spare and suggestive, but it's never quite clear what he's suggesting; he seems more interested in his bird-soul motif than in any of his characters. The four flights after Narrative also feel tacked-on, unnecessary. Still, the formal problems don't prevent Alexis Lezin from giving a manic performance as the church-founding daughter, Olivia, or Kevin Karrick from portraying a hilarious professional hockey player who likes bake sales and ballet. A scene with four of the characters at a ballet (Swan Lake) is also brilliant. Bock's first play, Swimming in the Shallows, had a successful local debut in 1999, and Five Flights has all of that play's formal inventiveness but not quite as much of its charm.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"