As part of Jenn McKee and Don Calamia’s new Platonic Theater Date review series, they attended the same Saturday performance of Tipping Point Theatre’s “Northern Aggression,” on May 19, and followed-up with a conversation about the show. Here’s their joint review:
An inherent challenge of a family squabble – particularly when there’s a clear resolution – involves the reality of having to still interact with each other for years afterward while silently assuming our post-conflict, arrogant/resentful roles.
As divisive and dysfunctional as the United States has become, we’re still ultimately one big family, and the Civil War remains our definitive quarrel. Though multiple generations have died and been born since battles between the Confederacy and the Union took place, a tension – something like historical muscle memory – still radiates from both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line; and prolific Michigan playwright Joseph Zettelmaier taps into this long-simmering tension via his play “Northern Aggression,” now playing at Tipping Point Theatre through June 24.
The show begins as a young couple from Detroit, Maddie (Alysia Kolascz) and Rob (Patrick Loos), are moving into their new home in rural Georgia, where Maddie’s landed a new job as the town’s veterinarian. Rob, formerly an engineer, doesn’t know how or where he’ll fit into the local ecosystem yet, but after elderly neighbor Doc (Thomas D. Mahard) stops by, Rob not only finds himself wearing gray during a local Civil War reenactment, but also waging a prank-filled personal war against Doc. Continue reading