A woman growing wings in a cocoon of rage, an acrobat falling in love with the ghost of Ernest Hemingway, and a trans prostitute donating body parts to a demigod's "bigger better bang" project may at first sound unrelated and unrelatable. But as these fantastical storylines intertwine in Boomcracklefly, a universality emerges from the singular plights of its well-defined characters.
The tensions underlying every life and relationship form the basis for Miracle Theatre's world premiere of Charise Castro Smith's ambitious new script. Deftly directed by Miracle's Artistic Director Olga Sanchez, the capable ensemble struggles with choices between work and love, the consequences of revolution, unquenchable desire and dissatisfaction, and the entropy of existence. The tone oscillates from comedy to drama and back again, ultimately showing that perfection is boring and life is defined by conflicts and triumphs.
A less successful vacillation, however, can be found in the dialogue; some affecting passages are poetic and literary, but much of the play is overwrought with unnecessary pop culture references. With such timeless and universal themes, Boomcracklefly needn't dumb down itself with references to the Kardashians, Brangelina, Whole Foods, and multiple uses of the words "crap" and "barf."
The technical demands of the show are formidable; creative solutions of sound (designed by Dug Martell) and light (Kristeen Crosser) support the story more than the sparse set and props manage to, and seamless scene transitions keep the momentum up. The Miracle delivers a strong, compassionate production with a timely message, though I can't help but think this play could really soar with a rewrite and a theater with more resources.