Friday, March 9, 2018

QUICK TAKE REVIEW By Beverly Creasey So Many Steves and So Little Time

Zeitgeist’s racy new farce deliberately leads us down the garden path by overwhelming us with characters named Steve. Mark Gerrard’s cheeky comedy of manners (most of them bad) is called, you guessed it, STEVE (playing through March 24th). I’ll try to explain, although I confess, I’m not really sure who’s having an affair, or thinking of having an affair, or who’s sexting whom. To make matters even more complicated, there’s a personal trainer also named Steve and there’s a scene at a gym with a person who’s about to work out, maybe with the personal trainer… or maybe “personal trainer” is a euphemism for body work of another sort.

So it’s Steve’s birthday and his husband, Steve, has organized a little get together at a local restaurant but Birthday Steve has discovered sexting on his partner’s cell phone. Tempers flare and drinks are spilled. (At this point I thought the naughty text message originated with one of the people at the party. I now think it came from Trainer Steve but that throws off my whole comprehension trajectory.) Not to worry. It doesn’t matter because the playwright hides a little magical realism up his sleeve and although drinks are airborne again, the sizzling Latin waiter arrives to clean it all up, no problem this time. I must admit, I couldn’t wait for Esteban, the dancer/waitperson (and so much more) to grace another scene. The hilarious Adam Boisselle has the plum role of Esteban (You guessed it, Spanish for Steve)… and he has all the best lines!

David J. Miller’s talented cast, led by the charismatic Victor Shopov (who manages to emote genuine pain beneath a hard crust of arrogance) have a field day with Gerrard’s angst ridden script. Mikey DiLoreto as Shopov’s BFF, has his trials, as well. Like the Steves (Shopov and a suave Alex Jacobs) his partner (Mike Nilsson) is having a wee bit of wanderlust. Gerrard throws in a dying female friend (Jenny Reagan) and a million show tunes, I presume, so you have some frame of reference.

I was humming along and then Gerrard alluded to THE RAFT OF THE MEDUSA, which sent my mind back to a 1980s production, as well as the painting. Maybe that’s why I lost my way. Or it could have been EVERSOURCE’s fault. When I saw STEVE, it was day two (of the four days and nights) of no electricity and no heat and my brain may have been already frozen.