“Let the Right One In” Delivers A Beautiful Melancholy
Tucked away in the Provo Town Center is An Other Theater Company, which is devoted to providing a more adult theater experience that the founders felt was missing in Utah County among the musicals and more family friendly fare that is easily found. Part of the execution of this mission was the production of “Let the Right One In”, which ran from Oct. 19 to Nov. 10. Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist and adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne, “Let the Right One In” is an atmospheric horror story about a centuries old vampire child and her growing relationship with a 12-year-old boy.
Brian Kocherhans played the vampire Eli and gave a transcendent performance. Kocherhans’s eerie manipulation of his voice and speech patterns and his unnatural movements almost made the viewer feel unsafe in the theater with him. Scout Smith played a perfect Oskar, capturing the innocence of a young child and the fear of someone being bullied as brutally as Oskar is. Kocherhans and Smith had excellent chemistry that made the viewer believe that these two polar opposites were really forming this connection right before our eyes.
The supporting cast came through strong as well. Ashley Wilkinson played Oskar’s mother, and her portrayal of an alcoholic single mother was moving. You could feel the fear for Oskar in their scenes together.
Kacey Spadafora played Hakan, Eli’s protector/thrall. One of the most striking scenes of the show was when Hakan broke into the boys’ gym to presumably attack Oskar. He was caught by another child, and then confronted and murdered the child. In the production, this was shown via red strobe lights and violent choreography performed by Spadafora. Despite Spadafora being the only one on stage, you could feel the violence of the scene through the disorienting strobe lights and the incredible choreography.
The most violent character in the play was Oskar’s bully Jonny, played by Tyler Fox, who commanded attention every time he was on stage. His every action was violent and dripping with malice.
“One of the biggest challenges of playing such a malicious character is finding the playfulness and the weird sense of joy,” Fox said. “It wasn’t always fun to do, but it was very interesting.”
Kacey Spadafora, artistic director, actor and co-founder of An Other Theater Company, said “So we just noticed there was a certain type of theater that wasn’t being produced in Utah Valley. Anything with adult content, LGBT characters, main themes, this stuff wasn’t produced in Utah Valley…So we thought, well we’re here, we want to see this kind of theater, we want to do this kind of theater and we’re sure other people in the area do too. So we decided we were gonna open a theater, and we did. We’ve been open for about fifteen months now and we’re on our second season.”
An Other Theater Company’s next production is Topher Payne’s “Perfect Arrangement”, opening Nov. 30.