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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Touch the Names’ touches hearts

    The Arizona Theatre Company’s production of “”Touch the Names”” is a poignant tribute to the lives lost during the Vietnam War and those individuals still grieving.

    “”Touch”” showcases via dramatic monologues a variety of people who visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. annually. Some fought in the conflict and others were nurses, while still others are the parents, siblings, spouses and children who are left behind. Played by a series of actors, each person has his or her own story to tell, and the monologues weave back and forth through time following the end of the war.

    The people leave all kinds of items at the “”roster of the dead”” in memory of and for their deceased loved ones, such as combat boots, war medals, beer and letters. Most of the monologues are structured like letters to individuals whose names are on the wall and close with their characters’ names or relationship to whom they were speaking.

    The actors in “”Touch”” are very talented and each balance their multiple roles. The concentration and commitment to their roles are clear.

    Their focus remained strong when a patron fell on audience members while leaving a row and needed assistance. The two actors onstage did not flinch and continued with their scene.

    “”Touch the Names””

    Arizona Theatre Company
    Through Nov. 4 @ Temple of Music and Art
    Tickets $26 – 40
    4 stars!

    Be prepared to feel overwhelmed by the emotion filling the theater. Often, sniffling and soft weeping could be heard from patrons on Friday’s opening night. The show ended with a roaring applause, whistling and a standing ovation.

    The play features a couple minor drawbacks. While the opening, with music weaving through a series of lines spoken by different characters, is moving, it is a bit too long. Also, the 75-minute show drags and seems to lack any kind of climax.

    “”Touch”” can be seen at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., today and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., Nov. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 3 at 4 and 8 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.

    Tickets vary in price and may be purchased online at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling 622-2823.

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