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Wolf Cub - Theatre Review

By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Wolf Cub
Devin Ketko in "Wolf Cub"
Photo by Ivan Mrsic

It is acutely apparent from the moment actress Devin Ketko appears, crouched in the eeriest corner of the shadowy, barren McCadden Theatre stage, that the very pitch black of her character's (Maxine) inner core will be the centerpiece of an epic Odyssean story, anti-heroic and female to its nucleus.

Wolf Cub
Devin Ketko in "Wolf Cub"
photo by Ivan Mrsic
Wolf Cub
, written and directed by English playwright Che Walker, is a highly stylized, poetic, one-woman tale of identity and self-revelation. It is the story of a young woman born in the deep south and coming of age in the time of Reaganism, the Iran Contra Affair, the LA Riots and the Northridge Earthquake.

Ketko exudes an exhilarating, primal, physical prowess on stage along with a hypnotizing vocal loquacity as she recounts arcs of the simultaneous past and present moment. Guided by spontaneous mystical experiences, and living somewhere between the surreal and the existent, she connects with pure animal instinct in her terrifying world of hard survival. As she narrates her journey, Maxine presents a normalized portrait of violence growing up with a father who regularly abuses her with words and fists as punishment for his wife abandoning them both, running off with another man. Then later drawn into the 'guns and drugs' underbelly of the Nicaraguan guerrilla war which eventually leads her to an 'end of days' during the devastating 1994 earthquake.

Che Walker's Wolf Cub is supposed to remind us that in a world of 'alternative facts', that we have been here before. But Maxine's narrative, even in its topical, political backdrop, reaches into the darkest corners of her psyche and emotions while moving through and mourning her utterly brutal life, making the experience so much more prescient. The rawness cuts right to the bone allowing us to take Maxine's bass-ass journey as head-on and 'woke' as Maxine does and is, herself. It's absolutely empowering.

Highly Recommended.

Wolf Cub plays Friday and Saturdays at 8pm through Oct 13 at the McCadden Place Theatre, 1157 McCadden Place, Hollywood, CA 90038.

Posted By Tracey Paleo on September 28, 2018 11:16 am | Permalink