'Kimberly Akimbo': Love it, hate it, but cannot dismiss it

By Meredith Pechta | Jun 05, 2014
Courtesy of: Phoenix Theatre “Kimberly Akimbo” is playing now through June 22 at the Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds.

Tragic Comedy. Woody Allen capitalized on that genre, but others have written in that style with some success.

“Kimberly Akimbo” is of this genre. Some will love it and some will hate it. But no one will be able to dismiss it.

The story revolves around Kimberly Levaco. She’s having a hard adolescence. He father is an alcoholic. Her mother has bandaged hands and is very pregnant.

Her aunt Debra is homeless, and always dragging her family into her criminal activities.

And if all that weren’t enough, she’s 16 going on 64. Yes, you read that right.

She has a rare chromosomal defect that causes her to age four times faster than normal. Anyone who’s seen the movie “Jack,” is acquainted with this strange phenomenon.

Kimberly has a hard time in school being regarded as a freak. Luckily, she’s not alone.

Jeff McCracken is a major geek in school who takes an interest in Kimberly. Kimberly is flattered by the attention and grudgingly accepts his affection, even though they look a little like Harold and Maude together.

Melanie Calderwell plays the melancholy Kimberly Levaco. Usually her characters are comical, but this performance is a major stretch.

Kimberly hasn’t just had to grow up physically before her time, but emotionally as well.

With her father always neglecting the family in favor of a bar, she’s always having to take the lead in her home.

Her father, Buddy, is played by Jay Jenkins. Ironically, he played Melanie Calderwood’s husband in his last play with her.

He makes a convincing drunk, both comical and sad at the same time.

Christine E. Mosere plays Kimberly’s mother Pattie. In a way, she is the most childlike person.

She is disillusioned about her husband’s potential, but is still hopeful despite the mess of her life.

Carissa Meisner Smit plays Buddy’s wild sister Debra. She’s trouble personified. Her desperation and carelessness create many problems for her and her family.

The family actually moved while Debra was gone, hoping she wouldn’t be able to track them down. Unfortunately, she knows how to find them.

Kimberly’s potential boyfriend Jeff is played by Woody Lotts. He gets some of the biggest laughs as he tries to negotiate a strange new relationship with an older woman who happens to go to school with him.

This is one of the strangest plays in recent memory, and one of the most entertaining. Don’t miss it. Kimberly isn’t getting any younger.

“Kimberly Akimbo” is playing now through June 22 at the Phoenix Theatre.

For ticket information, call 206-533-2000.


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