Phil Kilbourne

Kilbourne has earned a lot of notice on Twin Cities stages in recent years, most prominently in Hapgood at the Jungle in 2002 and The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer with Frank Theatre in 2003. It was in playing Langley Collyer in Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle, though, that he delivered a haunting performance that set him apart from the pack in 2004. This Jungle production was a portrait of a downward spiral that generated all kinds of weird psychic electricity, and Kilbourne was the conduit for a uniquely disturbing vision of the senses gone haywire. He played Langley, a talented pianist with no skill for living in the world, as a wide-eyed aesthete so in love with everything that he could contemplate a piece of garbage for hours on end. Abetted by Stephen D'Ambrose as brother Homer, and Bain Boehlke's set, which comprised a mountain of found objects, Kilbourne gave us a man so adoring of reality-- and so out of touch with it--that, at the end of the work, he carefully arranges the position of his brother's dead body. Charismatic, creepy, off-putting, and enthralling, his work in The Dazzle shone with a bizarre light that left no one without illumination.


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