Fateful trip

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In Dorris Dorrie's Cherry Blossoms, flies hover in the air occasionally, bringing with them a story about the mayfly's one-day lifespan. They're a visual cue to Dorrie's central point, that our time here is limited, but she gets it across loud and clear without them.

Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) has always wanted to go to Japan to see Mt. Fuji and study Butoh dancing, but she's remained with her husband Rudi (Elmar Wepper), a creature of habit, in their rural Bavarian village. When she's told he's terminally ill, she keeps the news to herself, and convinces him to go on a trip.

Though the couple has a son living in Tokyo, Rudi would rather go no further than Berlin for a visit with their other grown children. But the life Dorrie's created for Rudi has a lot more in store for him.

Her work doesn't mirror the delicacy of its eponymous flower, a Japanese symbol of life's impermanence. It's unabashedly sentimental, and covers every way of saying, "I thought I had more time." Yet it's also endearingly quirky. For some it can offer the punch of classic melodrama; some others might just feel sucker punched.

"Cherry Blossoms"

Opens Friday at Landmark's Gateway Theater

Grade: B