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Steal My Heart
a Comedy/Thriller
by Daniel Carter Brown

COMPANY : New Origins Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Belfry Playhouse (inside Norcross Presbyterian Church) [WEBSITE]
ID# 4901

SHOWING : May 13, 2016 - May 22, 2016



"Steal My Heart" is a comedic thriller that tells the story of the relationship of Alexis Rhodes and Kyle Wilcott, who meet at a bar one night. Alexis is an optimistic twenty-something trying to have some fun before moving away. Kyle is a hacker who’s looking for something more. When he finds out that she’s planning to move, he steals her identity and ruins her credit to foil her move and trap her into a relationship. As Alexis grows more wise, Kyle becomes more dangerous.

Director Rebekah Suellau
Kyle Chris Schulz
Alexis Danielle Thorsen
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Consider Your Heart Stolen
by playgoer
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
"Steal My Heart" is a rom-com thriller -- a romance commingled with a thriller. What starts out as a one-nighter turns into a longer-term relationship, with the man (Chris Schulz) using his computer hacking skills and other means to entrap the woman (Danielle Thorsen). The comic implications of their relationship predominate in the beginning, turning more serious as the play goes along.

Director Rebekah Suellau has done a wonderful job of using the small black box space to stage the action. The space represents a plainly furnished apartment, with just a sofa and coffee table to begin with. An outside door at the back of the audience is used for access to the apartment; doors upstage right and left, which in reality open onto a church hallway, are used as access points to the bedroom/bathroom and to the kitchen. There is no set other than the black walls of the playing space and the furnishings carried on by the actors as the woman, Alexis, moves in with the man, Kyle.

Daniel Carter Brown’s lighting scheme works hand-in-hand with Emily Sams’ sound to create a believable environment, at its most impressive when the effect is that of a television playing, with the screen where the audience is. Costumes are a major means of conveying the progress of time, and they do a good job of it. Technically, this is a superb use of the black box theatre.

The acting is also first-rate. Chris Schulz and Danielle Thorsen disappear completely into their characters, with the fun-loving Alexis contrasting with the more reserved Kyle. Their interactions morph believably throughout the show, with the theatricality of this two-person show keeping interest nearly to the end, when a theatrical approach gives way to a more cinematic approach: Alexis has a one-way conversation with a lawyer, attempts on her own to figure out a secret four-digit combination, and struggles with Kyle (nice fight choreography from Matthew Bass). This sequence could be much more theatrical if the information from the lawyer’s call and the secret combination were revealed by Kyle in a sarcastic, sadistic scene. As it is, his transformation from an unsettling presence to a physical threat comes late, and follows Alexis’ descent into fear of Kyle. It doesn’t feel quite right, and doesn’t deliver on the promise of all that has led up to the ending.

Playwright Daniel Carter Brown has done impressive research into the world of cyber security, and his computer jargon has the ring of truth (although guessing at the secret combination has more of the scent of research). "Steal My Heart" is definitely worth seeing. The acting is wonderful, the direction is superb, and the technical aspects are terrific. If the ending isn’t all it could be, the journey up to that point is all one could wish. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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