Nov. 14, 2012 - Issue #891: Heap and Pebble
Jack Goes Boating
Remember that time when your marriage was falling apart so you invited your wife's ex-lover to a dinner party out of spite but forgot all about it because you were doing lines of blow with your other guests? No? Well, how about that time when you were really into reggae music and your best friend used swimming lessons as a metaphor for teaching you how to dive into a relationship? No? Well, neither do I. But the story grabs your attention, doesn't it? Jack Goes Boating is the story of four characters—two couples—who are each jumping into the deep end of that good ol' quest for human companionship.
Playwright Bob Glaudini has created some fantastically complicated characters with whom you'll find yourself becoming terribly fascinated. Each character hosts a party-platter of their own individual dysfunctions, and while examining their eccentric personalities it's impossible not to trip on a few character traits that hit home. Jack (Garett Ross) is a reggae-loving limo driver who is nervously attempting to capture Connie's (Shawna Burnett) heart. Introduced to Jack through their friends Lucy (Mabelle Carvajal) and Clyde (Frank Zotter), Connie is nursing a particularly shattering trauma along with a host of other personal issues while simultaneously trying to open herself up to love. While their romance is blossoming, however, Lucy and Clyde's is falling apart. The couple has been married for years now and it quickly becomes clear that they are working through some potentially unredeemable conflicts.
A script like this practically demands an exceptional cast for the delicate balance between absurdly unsettling and perfectly mundane to resonate. This script couldn't have asked for better representation. The acting is superb. Carvajal and Zotter couldn't possibly bring more affecting honesty to their characters' disintegrating marriage and Burnett and Ross are touchingly sincere in their representations of two awkward, damaged and hopeful people. This ensemble works together beautifully to bring a sobering degree of verisimilitude to the unique problems in these characters' lives.
So, while at first it might seem that the unconventional characters, the peculiar plot points and the unflinchingly uncomfortable (and oh-so personal) scenes may make it difficult for you to relate, it turns out that there's much to grab on to here. Perhaps that's the true achievement of Glaudini's script, in the end—by making the audience walk in on such complicated characters in such an intimate fashion, relating to them becomes a startling inevitability.
Until Sun, Nov 25 (7:30 pm)
Directed by Kelly Reay
The Varscona Theatre, $11 – $27 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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