SALT LAKE CITY — As part of the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, Wasatch Theatre Company is showcasing One Foot, a play by Lojo Simon. One Foot tells the story of a young married couple who live in a rural farming community near a lake. One morning the husband, played by Jarom Christopher Brown, awakens to find that his right foot has absconded from his body. His wife, played by Alyssa Franks, remarks on what brought them to this point, and their love story is told in a series of flashbacks that eventually wind back to the present.
The script itself was fine, certainly not the most dazzling thing I’ve heard, but also kind of lovely. The two characters are Irish, so there is a natural cadence to the speech—a lolling musicality. The story, too, is nothing new: a young wife is haunted by her husband’s widow and and seeks to find peace from the shadows of his past. What did shine was the acting, which was natural and intimate, the pair building a relationship on stage that seemed real and bittersweet. There is a great deal of beauty that can happen when two actors appear to trust one another implicitly, and that is the most special thing about this production.
Franks was wonderfully vulnerable as the wife, her cogitative observations of the couple’s status consistently honest and open. I was totally sold on her love and commitment for her husband. In one scene where she pushes him to tell her the darkest details of her past, I really felt for her character. As the husband, Brown was sweet, stoic, and strong, a very steadying presence on stage. His delivery of the simple Irish husband was a lovely and layered one, and I enjoyed it a great deal. His tenderness in a scene where he tells his wife that he is building a bed for her was gracefully done and totally believable.
One Foot is sweet little tale—something I won’t likely be talking about for weeks to come but certainly something I enjoyed.