The King Is Dead

SEEING THINGS Kaye, second from left, gets clairvoyant.

SEEING THINGS Kaye, second from left, gets clairvoyant.

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

The King Is Dead may take place in Graceland, but Elvis isn’t the monarch of this story. Instead, playwright Caroline V. McGraw’s inspiration stems from Stephen King: Farrah (Jessica Kaye) and Finn (Evan Greene) are twins who have second sight, allowing them to perceive things with the mind’s eyes. McGraw isn’t able to maintain the suspense inherent in her premise; the originality lasts quite a while before withering. Director Jerry Ruiz helps somewhat with crackling musical interludes and dim hotel-room lighting. But when the action switches to too-cool Jonah (Lucas Kavner) and his puerile roommate, Scoot (Andy Stokan), and characters fire off quips like “I left my revirginization ray at home,” the rape that Finn may have committed becomes a laughing matter.

McGraw’s writing has the same problem as Farrah’s vision: She spells everything out, but even then, it’s blurred around the edges. In this case, the relationships remain unclear—Jonah is too rebelliously carefree to connect with Farrah, and Finn’s jealous loneliness is largely ignored; his initial creepiness fades to a bad haircut and black clothes.

Thankfully, Kaye’s Farrah mostly escapes the B-movie trappings, her earnest attempts to mend her freak-show reputation translates as Casper meets Carrie. Farrah’s coming-of-age struggle also has a charming twist, not a violent one: The king may be dead, but long live the queen.

Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex. By Caroline V. McGraw. Dir. Jerry Ruiz. With ensemble cast. 1hr 50mins. One intermission.