Friday, March 13, 2009


Foxfire, now in its final weekend at Boise Little Theater, is a stunningly beautiful show. From the moment the curtain opens, the audience is in for a visual treat. The opening moment of the show is as carefully and artistically put together as a movie with a top-notch cinematographer: John Myers stands silhouetted in center stage, lit from behind with a deep blue light, his head bent over a guitar as he strums and softly sings a country tune. Behind him lies an old wagon wheel in a pile of rubble; to either side are an old wooden shed and the weathered beams of a front porch; and behind it all is Fred Choate's gorgeous mural of the Appalachian hillside, barns and an orchard.

The set isn't the only beautiful thing about this finely acted and directed show. The characters are well-written and well-rounded. Sue Galligan was very believable as Annie Nations, a widow who relives some of the most joyous and painful memories of her life as she faces the difficult decision of whether to leave her longtime home. Galligan delivers a nuanced performance that leaves the audience guessing as to whether she is in full possession of her mental faculties.

Jerry Snodgrass plays Hector Nations, Annie's cantankerous and curmudgeonly husband. His role, too, shows a fair amount of nuance, and it's delightful to see Snodgrass, who frequently plays grumpy old men, have a few moments of eager, bumbling, nervous flirtation in a flashback with Annie.

As Annie's son Dillard Nations, John Myers does a good job of wrestling with contradictory forces. He wants Annie to move away from her remote home to Florida with him so he doesn't have to worry about her being caught in the cellar when the door sticks, especially now that all of her neighbors have moved away. But he doesn't want her to move if it means selling the place to a developer he sees as shady, and he doesn't want her to have to get involved in his troubles at home.

Helene Myers is charming as Holly Burrell, a young schoolteacher who grew up with Dillard and is both in awe of him and a little disappointed in him. Larry Chase has some lively and entertaining exchanges with Hector. Patrick Young plays a developer who might not have the best interests of the land and the town at heart; he could have projected a little more.

Overall the show paints a beautiful portrait of life in a land that time passed by and that is about to disappear under the bulldozers of progress.

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