The complexity and sophistication of theater are its divergent shades of light and darkness. The latter is the prevailing atmosphere for Laura Jacqmin’s Milvotchkee, Visconsin at Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company’s 10th Avenue Theatre. The exquisite Linda Libby stars as an outdoor museum docent named Molly “with a hole in her head,” meaning that she is rapidly descending into dementia. What keeps Milvotchkee … from being a total one-act bummer is not only Libby’s bravura (and brave) performance, but smartly staged representations (in both props and from a taut supporting cast featuring Greg Watanabe) of Molly’s lifelong memories, even as they slip away from her. Rather than watching Molly’s mind and life erode pitiably, we see how she did live and what there was to cherish. Of course, that makes the loss of it all the harder to take – for Molly and for the audience.
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.