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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 24, 1997)
Emotional portrayals create
chilling, dramatic ‘Demons’
By W.T. McCoy
The brilliant light of drama
shines once again in the window
of Theatrix, casting a shadow
upon the often over-rehearsed
and underacted Main Stage plays.
It is a positive light. Nowhere
else is this more apparent than in
the Theatrix production of Bruce
Graham’s “Minor Demons.”
Directed by Michael A.
Rothmayer, “Minor Demons” is
the story of a corrupt big-time
lawyer - Deke, played by Steven
Shields - who goes clean and
returns home. Conflict arises
when Deke must decide whether
to defend a boy whom he despis
es and destroy his friends career,
f f lie, repeating, in the process,
the destructive patterns that have
destroyed his life.
From the first chilling
moments of darkness to the final
gasp for “help,” the play is a look
into the world of a man who
makes an occupation of lying and
lives with the consequences of
deception, his demons. Who says
defense attorneys sleep at night?
Shield’s performance is
almost flawless as the struggling
Deke, many times making the
audience feel sorry for the char
acter and, at other times, making
him a very believable lawyer.
Jason Ehlers brings a high
energy, from-the-heart perfor
mance as Vince, Deke’s police
chief friend who has erred on the
side of emotion. Ehlers has a
wide base of emotion, if only he
keeps his arms from thrusting out
from his sides like a British stop
Steven Sparling’s portrayal of
Kenny, the sociopathic Doogie
Howser-esque youth with prob
lems, is notable.
However, the “I may have a
future in this ... award” goes to
Kaitlyn Byrd for her portrayal of
Ruth, the shaken mother scared
of her own son. Byrd’s sense of
dramatic timing and solemn
facial gesturing convey the char
acter of a simple woman who no
longer knows what to believe or
whom to trust.
The two-act play goes fairly
fast. It is not an easy night of the
ater, but a fine one.
“Minor Demons” runs today
at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. in
Howell Theatre at the Temple
Building. Tickets are $3 at the
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34 Squeeze 56 Pass over 64 Distorted
35 Vowel points 97 Weathercock 67 A1958 Pulitzer
37 Smack 56B.P.O.E. Prizewinner’s
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