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Theater review: 'Blood and Thunder' at Moving Arts-Hyperion Station

January 14, 2010 |  9:30 pm

400.BloodandThunder1 Aug. 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina roars through New Orleans, engulfing 80% of the city. But in “Blood and Thunder,” Terence Anthony’s tense drama now extending at Moving Arts in Silverlake, blood is deadlier than water.

Marcus (Keith Arthur Bolden) has a generator and plenty of provisions but hasn’t counted on Katrina’s chaos liberating his jailbird brother, Quentin (Tony Williams). Incarcerated for a con involving Marcus’ girlfriend, Charlie (Candace Afia), Quentin staggers home, both for shelter and to set the record straight. As the men fight it out, the water keeps rising.

Moving between present danger and past machinations, Anthony’s love triangle doesn’t go anywhere unexpected. But the playwright possesses an ear for language, and  “Blood” has a lived-in quality that draws you closer. (“Gonna strain your back with all that reaching,” says Marcus to Charlie as she pitches another risky get-rich scheme.)

 Director Sara Wagner uses Moving Arts’ intimate space to turn the claustrophobic screw. You can almost smell the rot on Jorge I. Velasquez’s grimy apartment set (the audience is only inches away from the action) as the gathering storm takes on biblical force. And Bolden is particularly strong as the tightly wound Marcus, able to solve any mechanical problem but oblivious to the workings of the human heart. He deserves a longer, less schematic play.

– Charlotte Stoudt

“Blood and Thunder” Moving Arts-Hyperion Station, 1822 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Ends Feb 28. $15. Contact: 323-666-3259 or www.MovingArts.org Running time: 65 minutes.

Photo: Tony Williams and Candice Afia. Credit: Jay R. Lawton.

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