But it is Jacobs who has the central, flamboyant part as the frenetic blind brother and can pull the most attention to his character. That might sound like a delicious acting opportunity, but the role could be a recipe for chewing the scenery. Jacobs, however, while making his character as jumpy as a junkie, always keeps Kaz's nervous tics and outbursts connected to particular emotional sources, so they seem natural. Kaz's chess style is to play "aggressive lines" so that his opponents' "analysis fails." He observes, clarifying his mania, that "there is no integrity left in religion, but chess is a path."
The production, unfortunately, flounders at the end, when the emotional conflicts should pay big dividends. Part of that is because of a walk-through performance by Tammy Brown, playing Kaz's girlfriend Rose, whose role the playwright apparently designed to buffer and fine-tune the tensions between the clashing brothers. A crucial monologue toward the end, when children's writer Rose recites an object lesson story to calm them down, comes across as an off-handed interruption.
Kaz was blinded by fire, a fittingly symbolic occurrence for someone burning so intensely within. Mixed Magic's Art of Attack does manage to convey the sometimes dark consequences of such psychological and spiritual illumination.
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