The week before the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, Ten November opened November 5, 2015 at the Underground as a solemn requiem for the most remembered shipwreck on the Great Lakes. Directed by John Pokrzywinski, it also is a blistering rejoinder to the powers that be who whitewashed the tragedy as an act of God.
Nine actors, representing as impressive a collection of acting talent as we have seen take the Underground stage, weave a list of wreckage and items salvaged from Lake Superior after the great ship went down with the exchanges of radio messages that fateful night.
A trio of singers (Katie Parbst, Christa Schulz and Nicole Johnson), whose sparkling outfits are in stark contrast to the drab clothing of the acting ensemble, emerge between scenes to sing songs.
“The names do not make the faces appear,” we are told early on. But while we get their ages at the end of Act One and the roll call of names at the end of Act Two, those faces prove to be beyond the dramatist’s reach. Any speculation would be a type of desecration, so all that remains are those final transmissions, chillingly voiced by Tony Barrett standing still as a statue.
This review was originally written by Lawrence Bernabo and appeared on duluthnewstribune.com on November 5, 2015.