A Walk in the Dust
This unique piece of Korean theatre centres on the story of young Gretchen. Just seven years old during the Japanese occupation of the state of Joseon, she is caught up in a demonstration in her town for its liberation.
Killed by a Japanese gunshot, the spirit of Gretchen begs with God to let her live again and she is given that chance.
This is what we read about the production. Very little of this happens on the stage.
A man plays a guitar while a 7-year-old actress sings and dances. She is absolutely adorable and engaging. This is the best part of the show but it has nothing to do with the Japanese occupation of Korea or the Korean war or the ferry disaster of earlier this year, all referenced in the visual projections.
And the play ends, spoiler alert, with the man playing a tune in a spotlight while the little girl, out of the light and just barely visible, sobs throughout—very convincingly.
I would have happily watched her do 50 minutes of almost anything. She gets the star.
Whatever the intent, A Walk in the Dust misses.
Reviewer: Catherine Lamm