Written and directed by Spencer Lott
At Dixon Place, NYC
September 9-September 24, 2016
No one wants to hear the phrase "end-of-life decisions." Moments after being introduced to us via a daring act of heroism, James Blossom (voiced by Rowan Magee), is being advised by a doctor to make his as soon as possible. James, the eponymous Blossom of puppet artist, director, and filmmaker Spencer Lott's new play, developed with support from the Jim Henson Foundation, has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and we follow James and his daughter Kathryn, a.k.a. Katy, a.k.a. Katy Bee (Jamie Agnello), as they do their best to navigate the practical, psychological, and emotional fallout of James's disease.
The advance of his Alzheimer's precipitates James's move into assisted living facility, against his wishes, of course. There, he meets fellow residents Maisey and Ronald. The symbolism around loss of control generated by all three of these elderly characters being embodied by puppets (while the puppeteers play the other various roles) may be intentional or accidental, but it is hard not to see. Just as Maisey was once a senator and Ronald a CEO, James, we discover, had a storied career as a painter in the film industry, a past to which he reconnects with the help of Kelly (Chelsea Fryer), a young volunteer who runs art classes at the nursing home.