Lights Out Theatre Company's Pre-Game Play Series - PPS3 - "Armless by Kyle Jarrow" (reading review)
We are living in the world of technology. Everyone can communicate with everyone all the time. In fact, the sheer act of reading this blog means that I am communicating with you. And I can see you...in your underpants...sitting at your computer...wondering why you feel my breath on your neck...
The Lights Out Theatre Company seems to be preoccupied with the notion of communication. Or intimacy. Or love in the age of Facebook. Or something like that, I couldn't really tell after about 4 Old Styles. But they are certainly passionate about it, and that is actually really interesting.
But, goddamn, let me tell you about these Russian former mail-order brides working the bar at the Piano Man. So, these broads look like website models and were fresh off the boat. I asked for a beer, and the Chinese one (I know, I know...but she was a Chinese Russian hot model, what the hell else do I call her?) sort of looked at me with a happy confusion, like she knew at least I wasn't asking her to take her shirt off. I said, "Old Style" which got her moving. She had learned the only Wrigleyville words worth knowing, I see. The blonde one came over and I asked, "So, is there a play reading here tonight?"
"You are here for Cobs game?"
"No, no, the Cobs are playing here tomorrow."
"Yes, Cobs play game tomorrow!" She seemed thrilled.
A gentleman at the bar named Steve said "Hey, I'm here for the reading," and whipped out his badass iPhone with an English-Russian translator on it. This is the "Hit On Any Nationality" app, and it's $2.99. Well worth it. He got into a conversation with the blonde commie and I noticed new friend and Lights Out Artistic Director Mary Rose O'Connor. We left Steve and Comrade Popthattopov behind and joined the company on the patio.
What gorgeous people these Lights Out folks are! Haily and Drew and Bobby and Bradley and Anna and Jessica! Now this is a group I'd like to rob a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere with...I'd be the boss, and Drew would be the rat. We'd have so many misadventures!
More and more folks started showing up and Mary Rose informed me that this was becoming their largest turn-out for a play reading so far. I said, while tearing through tall-boy number two, "It's starting a sensation!" This got a laugh. I was fitting in! It's so awkward going to hang out somewhere with strangers that you don't know, but everyone was so nice and attractive and these Old Styles are SO cold and great tasting and the breeze is really so nice isn't it?
The company just decided to have the reading out on the patio, which I thought was a wonderful idea because it reminded me of having class outside in college. College is pretty great, guys.
So, everyone finally settled and got their Old Styles and American Spirits and the reading started. The script was called "Armless" by a writer named Kyle Jarrow. It's about a man with a very specific psychological condition. Spoiler alert...he wants someone to cut his arms off. Now, the script itself was pretty good...it rides a verrrry fine line of farcical comedy and real emotion that would be extremely tricky to stage. But, in a reading format it worked quite well. And these actors are GREAT. Very fresh, very hungry, and really could show off the material well.
It was a one-act, so - blaow - it was over quickly. I applauded politely and got another Old Style. I then sat down with Mary Rose O'Connor and asked some very excellent questions about Lights Out.
LOTC has been producing for about a year, and together for about 2. They seem to really enjoy the song "Return of the Mack" and unicorns, as seen here. What Mary Rose as an Artistic Director is looking for is a question that suits her generation...i.e. people who came of age in the 90s and early aughts. Did you realize it's a totally different world for them? Because it is. I read a lot of internets, and according to people who scream the loudest, these new "millenials" or "Gen Ys" or "hot young chicks and dudes" are spoiled rotten entitled brats who don't want to work hard at anything. Well, the internets lied to me again (damn you Fark.com comment boards!) because all I saw was a hard working, really smart group of people who want to drink cheap beer and be kickass! That's all I want too, along with being able to pay my mortgage every month.
I think that if Lights Out continues to work hard at trying to figure out what kind of theatre company they want to be, they could say some really important things about what it's like to be afraid of intimacy and emotion in a world of being instantly connected to everyone. They also should throw some more bitchin' unicorn parties and invite me and Anderson.
I suggest you catch their next happening! Do something interesting for once!