Review: Safety Net at Theatrical Outfit
Running now through November 10th, Safety Net at Theatrical Outfit discusses love, guilt, stress, and how they all intersect during the opioid crisis. Safety Net is coming right when we need to hear it the most. In the Daryl Lisa Fazio piece, Chris Dove is named the first female fire captain in an Alabama town while her quick witted and stubborn mother, Xenia, tries to bring peace with Bible verses, pot roasts, and heating pads. When Chris’ mysterious mountain dew drinking high school friend, Val, drifts into their lives, daughter and mother find themselves at a tipping point between what’s safe and what saves.
The most striking parts of the show for me were the questions Safety Net asks.
All of them seemed loaded but also still so simple and poignant. Questions like, “What does it feel like to be Alright?” and “How many people love you?” caught me off guard completely when I tried to answer them myself. They’re questions that should have easy answer, but they don’t, it’s everything but simple.
Though we meet Chris in possibly the most demanding point of her life, Daryl endows the character with incredible charm. I also have to take a moment to appreciate Daryl Lisa Fazio, as a playwright and actor because she’s delivering a beautifully crafted performance. To create such a beautifully written and emotionally full play then star in it, might be the most difficult task I could think of. It also stills feels fresh, an actor’s job is to create the illusion that this is the first time they’ve said these words, but that task gets harder when you’ve been writing and living with these characters in your head for years.
My favorite character in the show? Billy.
Billy is Chris’ younger brother that died after an opioid overdose and to me, is the most important character in the play. Though he’s never seen, Daryl paints this beautiful and full picture of who Billy was. He’s described as this big and funny guy that absolutely adored his older sister. Billy’s legacy lies completely in the minds of the people that remember him and I loved every bit of it!
It’s needless to say but these actors are absolutely insane. It’s really is hard to find words to describe Rhyn Saver’s performance as Val. When we first meet Val, she’s a recovering addict that’s constantly shrinking and apologizing for who she is. One incredible moment in the show comes when Val has this spiraling monologue, Rhyn endows Val with this incredible heart and honesty that really highlights the writing in a beautiful way. Rhyn is bringing her heart into Val and it’s such an incredible thing to witness.
Val’s mental journey might be my favorite part of Safety Net.
She has these moments calling herself garbage and stupid then being described as a grenade and all these things are physically accentuated by Rhyn’s physicality. Physically, she’s always apologizing for some part of herself and then things begin to shift. Once she reveals why she’s come into their lives, she finally begins to embrace herself and opens up. Physically and even vocally, it becomes bigger performance and journey, that emotional transition is the sweet spot of theatre.
Carolyn Cook might actually be the most focused actress I’ve ever seen onstage. As Xenia, she has this incredible commitment and unique presence onstage. It’s like watching someone fly, it looks like she gives this draining performance with ease. You can clearly see in everything she does what her intentions are at any moment in the show, it’s remarkable.
Daryl and this cast have paid such incredible attention to details and it shows!
Running now through November 10th, Safety Net is the show to see in Atlanta right now. It’s a night to ask questions like “What does it feel like to be alright?” and if you can treat it with a pot roast and a heating pad. Click here for ticket info and here for more reviews!