The play begins with voice messages hinting at some sort of mystery, while a couple (Darius Dotch and Artistic Director Sara Marsh) climbs into a hot tub. It's not clear who they are or what they're doing there, but the story slowly unfolds over the course of the play, although it still leaves room for wondering. The couple is soon interrupted by a young man named Bo (Paul LaNave), who says this is his father's place, and assumes that the couple is renting the house. They go along with it, and bond over the jacuzzi and alcohol, although it's clear to the audience, if not to Bo, that they're playing him. The next day Bo's dad Robert (Clint Allen), a well-know psychologist and author dealing with an ugly divorce, shows up and assumes the couple, who are calling themselves Erik and Helene, are the people he hired to fix up the place. They go along with that too, present him with a bill, and continue to fix (or break) things around the house, run errands for him, and help him pack up items belonging to his ex-wife. Robert and Bo have some serious issues to work out from their past, as well as Bo's troubled present, and Helene and Erik continue to manipulate the situation. Still, it's unclear who the "bad guy" is here; Robert and Bo are pretty awful in their own ways too. That's part of the the fun of it.
|Erik (Darius Dotch), Bo (Paul LaNave), and Helene|
(Sara Marsh) get to know each other (photo by Bryce Johnson)
|Erik (Darius Dotch) and Robert (Clint Allen)|
(photo by Bryce Johnson)
It feels wonderful to welcome back another #TCTheater, especially Dark and Stormy, which fills the niche of small cast, one act, intense, dark, sometimes funny plays. They're celebrating their 10th season next year, which I'm hoping will include the "ghost show" Doubt, which was scheduled to open in April of 2020. In the meantime, Jacuzzi is a great excuse to visit Stillwater to take in all that the charming touristy town has to offer, plus some darkly funny theater (click here for info and tickets).