note: entire contents copyright 2001 by Larry Stark
Directed by John Robert Macey III & Richard John Roode
Lighting and Set Design by Michael Lagrotteria
The Boiler Company is mostly teachers and students at Clark University out in the Worcester/Shrewsbury area who come into Boston periodically to bring their fresh voice and youthful perspective to the stage. They specialize in short plays by the late Absurdist playwrights (Shepard, Pinter, Albee, Wilson) done in a precise, abstract theatrical style. They serve notice that these infrequently done plays and playwrights still pack considerable original punch.
Ex-Smoker One.......John Pattavina
Ex-Smoker Two...Georgia Rushing
This curtain-raiser, Rick Winterson's first play, takes advantage of theater's magic to show a casual encounter on the edge of an office party, redolent with maybe's and small-talk, interrupted from time to time by red-lit interludes in which the speakers tell the audience what they Really think --- her about him mainly, but mostly about still being ready to Kill for a drag of nicotine! The idea is cute, simple, and well-played, if a bit predictable.
Rachel.....Elizabeth Marie Hanson
Rachel's the hysterical one --- still unsure she had to turn in her latest boyfriend after he stole four hundred bucks from her. Agnes is a calmer voice of brutal objectivity. A slice of superheated life with the two roomies bouncing off the walls and into and out of sleepless beds. The audience gets to know the women and their preoccupations better and better through conversations that are almost more engrossing than they really deserve.
Lawrence.....Richard John Roode
This is the meatiest of the three plays, about a couple who might be married, or brother and sister (or both???), the woman pregnant and with a bad heart condition. The pair of them chide and bully and discipline an invisible pair of children, refuse to face the disapproval of all their neighbors, and the guy even refuses anymore to leave their apartment. Once again, exactly what's really going on here dawns slowly on the audience by bits and hints and snatches. In this case the story leads to shocking conclusions involving obsession and madness. The playing here is at a breakneck pace so that only at the end do the implications finally, chillingly sink in.