I recently caught a production of Kimberly Akimbo, currently playing at Theatre Gym. This may have been one of the most evocative and groundbreaking performances I have ever seen. At last!!! Age-blind casting of ingenues! What has taken stodgy regional theater so long!?
In this play, the title character is a sixteen-year-old girl, and in this production, the part was played by someone who was, to put it delicately, a bit over sixteen-years-old. Truth be told, I'm not sure I could have passed for sixteen myself, although in a particularly favorite gymboree outfit, I come pretty close.
But really, the casting of Kimberly could have been awkward. Instead, it really elevated the play. I believe they changed lines in the script to cover up the fact that the actress looked too old for the part. This added a VERY interesting subplot about some aging disease. Extremely creative! It reminded me of the time I refused to shave my head for a role in Terezin: Children of the Holocaust. We simply rewrote the script to permit a lovely bouffant. I'm fairly certain the production did not suffer.
In any event, I enjoyed the show a great deal, even though Kimberly looked older than her parents. I can suspend disbelief with the best of them, and I encourage this type of thinking!!
I'm excited for what the future brings for Theatre Gym!! I do hope they consider The Music Man. I believe I can bring new meaning to the part of Winthrop. Or maybe simply a lovely, understated Christmas Pagaent. I have always wanted to play the Baby Jesus. What ho!