By JAMES COMTOIS
Directed by PETE
By MAC ROGERS
Directed by PATRICK SHEARER
The Red Room, 85 E. 4 St, NYC
April 5 – 28, 2007
Sets LAUREN DiGIULIO
Lighting GABE EVANSOHN
Sound PATRICK SHEARER
Fight Choreography QUI NGUYEN
Anthony Bertram – Pete Boisvert – Zack Calhoun – James Comtois
Rebecca Comtois – Mick Hilgers – Leslie E. Hughes – Cat* Johnson
Anna Kull – Marc Landers – Patrick Shearer
Ben VandenBoom – Stephanie Williams – Christopher Yustin
James Comtois’ new comedy, SUBURBAN PEEPSHOW, is an unapologetically unconventional commentary about the banality of modern society and popular entertainment. How fitting then that the lead-in play to the main attraction is a movie-preview inspired live-action commercial montage by Mac Rogers called TRAILERS.
The TRAILERS hit all the main genres. There’s action-adventure, teenage love, horror, terror, and a buddy flick with the very inside joke reference of having a duo of Jean-Claude’s (Van Damme, of film fame, and van Itallie, the playwright). Funny and fast-paced, though a bit hit or miss.
SUBURBAN PEEPSHOW, in contrast, is a play within a play about a man named Bill (Zack Calhoun), his home life with Mother (Leslie E. Hughes) and Jeremy (Marc Landers), his job, an affair with a co-worker, New Girl (Anna Kull), his sudden penchant for dressing like a warrior all the time, and his speculation that former colleague, Jack (Christopher Yustin) was laid off for having a depraved personal life. Throw in the murder of Carnival Barker (Mr. Yustin), Mother’s possible affairs with both Therapist (Patrick Shearer) and Pool Guy (Ben VandenBoom), a lascivious Playwright in monkey slippers (Anthony Bertram) and the mysterious dancer, Chubby Guy (James Comtois), and you have got a pretty complete picture of the kitchen sink assortment of characters and situations that this SUBURBAN PEEPSHOW presents.
The play is ambitious, if perhaps a bit elusive for the average theatergoer. Playwright Comtois is making some interesting statements and ironic observations, but they can be, and perhaps deliberately so, hidden within the surface peepshow of the SUBURBAN PEEPSHOW. The mere fact that his characters are often named based on their function – rendering the characters placeholders, or interchangeable parts if you will, even as they debate the merit of popular films, and how much they dislike live theater, is seemingly simple yet deceptively complex in concept.
Once again, I recommend a Nosedive Productions presentation. This time, SUBURBAN PEEPSHOW and TRAILERS.
- Kessa De Santis -