Off-Off-Broadway / Walkerspace / NYC
I have a friend who labels her hometown on MySpace as “the dirty south.” That is more or less the setting for Ashlin Halfnight’s new play, “Mud Blossom.” The show’s set is very much like rural America; there’s not much there. There are no walls to the small farmhouse, only a weak frame that covers the living room where three generations of women scrape by from one day to the next. There’s 15-year-old Camille (played by Liz Myers), her mother, June (Jennifer McCabe), and Gongi, the grandmother (Corrine Edgerly). Camille is a young girl with big dreams who feels trapped in a small town. Oldest story in the world, right? I mean the girl’s so lost and desperate that she thinks Quebec is the Promised Land. Over the quick course of her misled youth, there are discoveries of little baby booties buried in the mud of the yard. Just when you start thinking Sam Shepard, Myers’ wonderful performance takes over. It is really her show. Mom and Gongi are merely window dressing for her story. They represent the stern mom and the aren’t-I-fun-and-spunky grandmother, respectively. Thankfully, though, each of the ladies have more layers added during the play’s second act. The through line of the story is not all that different from a slew of coming-of-age stories out there, but the writing certainly does stand on its own. Liz Myers is incredibly engaging and fully encapsulates the loud sadness of American youth. She is the main reason to see this play, which we have, in part, seen a few times before.