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The Memory of Water

Part way through the first act, Mike (Kurt Brighton), a doctor, shares—with his paramour, Mary (Paige Larson), also a doctor—the results of a recent experiment he read about: even after homeopathic elements were removed from an aqueous solution, the water "remembered" the vibrational pattern of the curative and remained just as medicinally effective as when the elements were present.

(Left to right) Lisa DeCaro as Teresa, Emily Paton Davies as Catherine, Paige Larson as Mary, and Deborah Curtis as Vi
(L to R) Lisa DeCaro as Teresa,
Emily Paton Davies as Catherine,
Paige Larson as Mary,
and Deborah Curtis as Vi
Photo: P. Switzer, 2013
Such is also true of human behavior, given that we are 70% water: Our imprinting, from our parents and other major players in our lives, remains long after they have absented themselves from our everyday consciousness. Of course, we are generally in denial of such influences, they being too close for us to see, or too close for comfort.

In this deceptively honest examination of the relationship between three sisters—who gather for the funeral of their deceased but still ethereally manifest mother—old patterns clash with new ideas in their distinctly different worlds.

Mary, the oldest sister, weary from the journey back to her childhood home, tries to sleep in her mother's bed, only to be awakened by her mother, Vi (Deborah Curtis); or rather, more properly, the spirit of Vi. Larson brings natural gravitas to Mary, as well as a certain level-headedness as the eldest child, the maternal stand-in for her siblings. She is in many ways the anomaly, the one who ascended the professional ladder. Curtis does marvelous work walking a tightrope between Vi as she was on the material plane, caught up in her own dramas, and Vi as she is as spirit, wise in the ways of the world.

The middle sister, Teresa (Lisa DeCaro), could be your Boulder neighbor, the organic food advocate struggling with hypochondria—quick with a remedy for every occasion. Then, after a few drinks, she (DeCaro unchained) lets everyone have it. Priceless!

If dysfunction has a name, though, it's Catherine (Emily Paton Davies), the youngest. Davies takes the zany handoff from playwright, Shelagh Stevenson, and runs with it, charging, head down with reckless abandon, into potential suitors and delicate familial situations with equal zest and heedlessness.

How do the men hold up amid the slash and burn, take no prisoners, sisterly reunion? Mike is married with kids and unwilling to leave his wife for Mary, while Frank (Matthew Blood-Smyth) is unhappily married to Teresa and his job. Brighton plays ambivalence like a man well-practiced in fence-sitting, while the weight of Blood-Smyth's visceral mix of weariness and tried patience finds its way onto our own shoulders.

As western medicine slowly comes to accept that consciousness influences health, so too will the homeopathic experiment that Mike brings up, or Masaru Emoto's experiments on the effects of human consciousness on the molecular structure of water, one day overcome the slander of materialists posing as empiricists. On that day, we shall look back at the realities that we created for ourselves and marvel at the obstinancy of our own water.

Miners Alley Playhouse's production of The Memory of Water, directed by John Arp, runs through May 26th. 303-935-3044.

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