In my lifetime here in L.A., strange that it took my recent interest in the ancient Aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo, to get me to the John Anson Ford Theatres Complex for this first time last night where I watched Lynne Kaufman’s “Daisy in the Dreamtime.” The play, directed by Simon Levy, explores the life of Daisy Bates, an Edwardian Irish woman who lived with the remote Aborginal tribes for many years beginning in the early 1900s and who advocated strongly for the presevation of their culture and customs and dignity.
With its crack cast, featuring Lisa Pelikan (pictured) in the lead and Anthony J. Haney as Daisy’s Aboriginal friend King Billy ó not to mention Lance Guest in a supporting role (think back to 1984’s “The Last Starfighter”) ó “Dreamtime” is a moving tribute to this remarkable woman and a testament to the tragedy that comes from Western civilization’s unquenchable need to assimilate and subjegate that which is “different.”
Good show and great performances aside, what got my butt into a seat there was the mention in the review I read of the live didgeridoo accompaniment throughout the show. Indeed, the didge sytlings of Andjru Werderitsch deliver an added dimension of haunting authenticity to the proceedings. Onstage throughout the entire two acts, Werderitsch is Zen-still when not playing and mesmerizing when he is.
“Daisy in the Dreamtime” continues at the [Inside] The Ford Theatre through April 25. Tickets are $25.