nytheatre.com review by Jane Titus
August 15, 2009
Thruline is a one-person show written and performed by Kevin Horne. The evening is structured around a simple chain—a piece of jewelry that each character comes into contact with in different ways. Then there is the chain of events that comprise the play. Each vignette is about taking action in extreme circumstances—each monologue is about courage in one form or another. Some of the stories have a touch of magic realism—characters without faces, magical events that seem to resonate to a slightly elevated reality. Some of the scenes are related to other scenes in the sequence, some seem more random and only connected by the chain itself.
Most of the stories are realistic and anecdotal in nature. There are just a few that almost spill into fantasy. Horne portrays a bike messenger, an old man, a comic, a father, and other various characters. They are all sympathetically drawn and Horne is an engaging performer. There are moments of real power and pathos in the piece. I found the moments of fantasy and magical realism very intriguing in the play and I would encourage Horne to continue to explore these moments. As I saw the piece, the acting and presentation was very realistic in the 20th century tradition of dramatic realism. It would be interesting to see if the piece was pushed more towards the fantasy and dream-like qualities in some of the monologues. Perhaps take a few more risks in the physicality in the performance and more poetry in the writing.
All in all, Thruline is a pleasant journey with an able performer if a little on the filmic side for my taste. Kevin Horne is a warm, charming performer.