Passion play: ‘Vincent’s Yellow’ charts a beautiful, if meandering, journey to self discovery

Teresa Veramendi contemplates the work — and life — of Vincent van Gogh.

It’s been said if you find your passion and write about it, you will find an audience. No one can accuse Teresa Veramendi of lacking in passion. Her highly personal play, Vincent’s Yellow, charts her self-discovery as an artist and a human through the work of Vincent van Gogh. She immerses herself in his work, devouring his paintings and pouring through letters of his she found while traveling in Spain. She searches for clues about who van Gough actually was: the man, the artist, the myth. It’s a mystery she devotes years of her life to, and this play is the culmination of that path.

It’s a beautiful, if meandering, piece of work, full of heart, hope and light. Every fiber of her being has gone into making this piece happen – from the subleased downtown loft space she’s meticulously converted into an inviting (and yellow) performance venue, to the equally devoted young cast – particularly the trio of actors who share duties portraying three competing perspectives of van Gogh (Jesse Manson, Jesse Aukeman and Emily Cross).

Veramendi is an instantly likeable performer. She radiates joy, curiosity and warmth. You want to get to know her more. However, I left with more questions than answers. While you can easily connect to her universal desire for self discovery (much like you could with Julie Powell of Julie and Julia), you aren’t quite sure what propelled her to turn this passion (basically an obsession) into a two hour long play.

Was it a means to move out of an artistic slump? Is she running away from something? Or, is she just a freakishly inquisitive person by nature, and van Gogh will be pushed aside for Vivaldi next month? Perhaps this was touched on (she vaguely mentions how van Gogh “saved” her), but not to any extent that I felt I really understood.

And the show could be shorter – I felt her point had been made 15 minutes before it actually concluded.

That aside, I enjoyed it. This is a perfect date night, where you can cuddle on the couch, watch a talented performer bare her soul, and enjoy a small post show glass of wine – compliments of the artist!

”Vincent’s Yellow” plays through Aug. 31 at 63 E. Lake Street, unit 402. More information here >

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