Airness by Chelsea Marcantel is in its DC premiere run at Keegan Theatre, co-produced by 1st Stage. The play centers around six characters (D Vicious, The Nina, Golden Thunder, Shreddy Eddy, Facebender, and Cannibal Queen) who devote themselves to entering and performing in air guitar competitions around the nation and the world.
Airness is a good play that provides a lot of laughs, characters that are relatable – some more than others, and tunes that make you want to strum along. I appreciated the meshing of the personal lives and journeys of each character with their passion behind the art of air guitar and what it means to them. For some, it meant a hobby, a place to fit in, a chance to let go, be free, and have fun, while for others it was merely for attention. It was an interesting concept for a play, but all in all, felt well-executed.
The very talented cast of Airness truly shined in this production. I want to especially commend Billie Krishawn’s riveting performance as The Nina, Dani Stoller’s electric Cannibal Queen and Chris Stezin as the humorous, big-hearted Facebender. Another special aspect was having Forrest A. “The Fahking Rockr” Hainline IV in the cast as the Announcer. Forrest was a national air guitar competitor and champion which lead to performances at other venues such as the 9:30 Club. The dynamic between him and the cast was special to watch.
The production also felt cohesive, well designed and well performed all around. Christina A. Coakley provided excellent and sharp direction. … Airness is sure to put a smile on your face and get you clapping and perhaps tapping your feet. It’s a show that’s meant to introduce you to a world you may not be familiar with. However, by the end, you will be glad that you took the step in. Keegan’s production in conjunction with 1st Stage is a whole lot of rockin’ fun!