Artist Playground did it again as they extend their showing of this delightfully light piece sprinkled with humor, light drama and cynic outlook entitled Happiness Is A Pearl.
Staged at the Little Room Upstairs, this piece was directed by Paul Jake Paule and served as their first offering for the second season of the company. If I remember it right, Paul directorial style is a mix of movements/dance and acting as shown in season one’s Riddle of the Sphinx. So far his blend of movement and acting works well in the pieces that he handles and is capable of catching the attention of the viewers.
While in the discussion about movements, the mix of tango movement was quite nice for it showed passion, may it be done technically or artistically. Their choreographer, Leslie Dailisan was able to create moves suited for the space provided without losing the beauty of the dance. The only drawback I saw with his piece was the lack of passion delivered by one of the performers.
The set of actors that they had that time was good in delivering what was needed. The accent was there (since the piece requires Japanese performers), the drop of dialogues were right thus giving that light humor and cynicism, and that amply spaced dead air which simply highlighted the emotion of the scene. They simply need to do something about those quick changes so that it won’t looked like it was rushed (wrong fit of a dress, kimono sash twisted,open slacks). The pairing that they did was good for there were harmony in the actors. I won’t say blending for the actors seem to have walls with their fellow performers despite the intimacy of some scenes but they were able to make things fluid in delivery thus the harmony that I mentioned earlier.
I like the light effects that they delivered in such a small space. That multi-hued light glass created that vision of lanterns carried in Japan. It also served as a tying piece to the show as it was used to show the actors at the start and was used at the end scene. One notable thing about their presentation is the mini-JPop show that they had before the actual show - quite cute!
As a whole, Happiness Is A Pearl is one delightful short piece. It has humor at the right spots, the pace was on the spot and intimacy between audience and performers was just right.
“Happiness lies in your own hand. It took me much too long to understand.”
- Madonna SECRET