Theater Review: One House Over

Theater Review: One House Over

By Livia Peterson

The World Premiere of Catherine Trieschmann's One House Over is a co-production with the Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York.

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally recognized professional resident theater company for a reason. Not just because they provide plays that challenge the audiences, but because once an individual attends one Rep performance, you are pretty much addicted to attending their performances and cannot receive enough. I've attended a little more than half of the Rep's 2017-2018 Season as it is and more than ready for their 2018-2019 Season.

My expectations for the Milwaukee Rep continue to rise, as I continue to attend their productions and let me tell ya, the Rep consistently crushes and exceeds my high expectations. 

The Review -  

The Trump Administration allows the pondering of boundaries, regardless of the immigration status more than ever. The Obama Administration ensured equality and did not discriminate against immigrants, unlike President Trump. But no fear, Catherine Trieschmann's One House Over does not boast a political agenda, excluding to persuade you to either the Democrat or the Republican party. Rather, the play hits you in the gut. 

Joanne Vancura (Elaine Rivkin) hires the undocumented immigrants Camila and Rafael 'Rafa' Hernandez (Zoe Sophia Garcia and Justin Huen) to care for her ill father Milos (Mark Jacoby). Yet, the intrusive neighbor Patty Leiker (Jeanne Paulsen) believes something illegal is occurring and insists to receive advice via the neighborhood association.

It is indeed easy for one to notice the infectious chemistry among the actors in a live theatrical performance. From the individual breathtaking performances to the exciting banter among the actors, One House Over demonstrates one is not required to attend Broadway productions to receive the highest standard of professional theater. 

While the first act explores the characters' past, the second act immerses you in the family and once the play actually concludes, one may sob due to craving to spend more time with the Vancura and Hernandez families. Oh, how I wish this play is six hours with two intermissions. 

The pre-show music perfectly sets the mood and hence, the cheery and rather lifelike set design is akin to a home one would find in a neighborhood anywhere in the United States. The audience may feel at home during this production. Cozy and friendly folks, but gosh darn, it is live theater. I would welcome the Vancura and Hernandez families into my home in a heart beat even though it is all depicted on the thrust stage. In short, One House Over is complete perfection in every regard.

Personally, I wish One House Over would boast a mainstream appeal because it deserves a touring production, outside the Milwaukee Rep and the Geva Theatre Center. Ultimately, One House Over  resonates, as we are all immigrants in our own ways and the relevancy is gut punching as though one is not attending a play, but rather real life. Just proves theater is sometimes a lot more powerful than film. A+

One House Over runs now through Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater│Quadracci Powerhouse 

108 East Wells Street, Milwaukee WI 53202 │414-224-9490

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