2nd Story Theatre's current show is "A Bright New Boise". Winner of the Obie Award for playwriting, Samuel D. Hunter's "A Bright New Boise" is an unexpected dark comedy about faith, family and making human connections. In the break room of a Hobby Lobby craft store in Idaho, the seemingly innocuous Will applies for a job. No one knows he has recently fled his hometown after a scandalous tragedy involving his fundamentalist church. Will doesn't want to work there but he is a man on a mission. He wants to bond with his estranged son before the impending Rapture. By enlisting the aid of his co-workers, a group of eccentric characters also struggling to find their way, can Will obtain the trust of his son before the end of the world? Director Mark Peckham blends the comic and dramatic elements together splendidly. He accomplishes this feat with his five talented performers who keep you laughing and thinking from start to finish during this production.
Mark infuses his performers with the vitality needed to pull off these roles. Stage manager Rachel Nadeau keeps things running smoothly all night long. The gorgeous set is by Karl Pelletier and the costumes by Ron Cesario. The show is a series of vignettes. Nathanael Lee does a masterful job, onstage almost the whole show. He plays Will on many different levels, making him a sympathetic, but misunderstood man who is yearning for the rapture to arrive or waiting for a miracle. Suzy Bowen-Powers is a hoot as Pauline, the office manager who constantly swears at everyone. Her one liners are terrific and she delivers them with ease. Patrick Saunders plays Alex, Will's estranged and troubled son who is rebellious and wants to be a performance artist. He delivers a gut wrenching, nervous breakdown scene. Tray Gearing is marvelous as Anna, who is a chatterbox who likes to sneak into the break room after hours and loves to read books. Her comic lines hit paydirt as the character flirts with Will, wants him to join her church, becomes afraid of him and enamored of him at the same time. James Lucey is also terrific as the older brother, Leroy who swears up a storm, likes to intimidated people especially Will. His angry outbursts with Nathanael and Patrick are wonderful to behold. James delivers a poignant moment near the end of the show which tempers his angry young man.So for an intriguing look at a contemporary play, be sure to catch "A New Boise" at 2nd Story Theatre.