This show is full of traps for actors. RJ DeBard and Andy Hoff avoided every last one of them. There has to be a commitment and energy to this two man show that relies on memory and the telling of the same story. The intensity must be there. At the same time we need to see the actors listening to each other and seeing other characters and places etc. and more importantly feeling moments. It’s about what isn’t said. This is also credit to the director. It moves when it has to and slows down when it needs to. Even though the plot is straight forward I never tried to jump ahead because I was so interested in the now. Mr. DeBard truly opens the play with clarity and intensity…I cannot tell you how many shows I have seen where the actors need 15 minutes to warm up. That is too late…not in this show! Mr. Hoff is adept at taking a moment looking out and you can see many gears turning and feel so many things. Both a treat to watch.
What I didn't like
All picayune that is probably credited to first preview. The lockers are precarious and could be moved against the wall since they are barely used. Some blackouts have no music and are a bit too long but these are all things that only the opening night audience would see. One bit of sitting on the ground staging that blocks the actors from 80% of audience. I trust these will be ironed out.
My overall impression
This is an important show. If you think you are having a bad day then go see this show. Issues of race and class and family and friendship all in one show. It makes you look into your life and notice that things aren’t so bad. It is rare to find two actors that connect and work hard at not working too hard. Theatre is about moments. We go to the theatre to see moments. And this production has many more than most shows. Go see it.