"I ain't no actor, but I could be," offers a provocateur (Timothy Douglas) in Larry Myers's Timothy Leary in Space, a collection of monologues loosely related to each other by themes of homosexuality, alienation, and exhibitionism.
Off-Off-Broadway is, in many ways, the research and development arm of American theatre. Because this script focuses on character study, these actors had adequate, if not outstanding, material with which to work. And because of marketing clearly targeted at a gay audience - a good-looking, all male cast with some nudity - these actors were assured an audience. Unfortunately, aside from a few good performances and a few select passages from the script, there is little to recommend this theatre piece.
There is Dakota, who carries around the ashes of Jerry Garcia, played in one of the stronger performances of the evening by Tommy Lonardo.
In a sensitive portrayal by James Allen Power, Harry of Hollywood, who makes miracles of movie stars' hair, proudly announces he is a heterosexual hairdresser.
In a more interesting turn in the writing, a handsome artist's model (Robin Macklin) shares that he wants to be reincarnated as a smart, brave, funny, Asian woman.
There is another hunk, played by J.P. Pitoc, who tells us that the underwear he is wearing will be displayed in Planet Hollywood.
The tailored side of Generation Y is illustrated in a finely tuned performance by Darren Coyle. Dressed in blazer, plaid tie and khakis, he explains that he is not as conservative as he looks--he idolizes Timothy Leary.
Leary's spirit of revolution defines the mainstream guppie (Joe Brocato), who defines himself by the fact that he hates drag queens, gym bunnies and just about everyone else.
Another strong, athletic performance was given by Scott Joseph as the graffiti artist who worships Keith Haring.
The drag queen in the Judy Garland sketch, strutted with the most confidence of the evening by Monte Zanca, feels the pulse of the great divas of yesteryear through their autographs in his collection. "I am these women. I am!" he insists. And the audience believed him.
Mark Marcante's set was a generic construction of wood platforms.
The production also featured Andrew Boyer, Peter O'Neill, Richard Naers, Peter Hurley, Jesse Kaye, Mike Hartz, Kevin Keaveney, Doug de Witt, Bill Ryder, Joseph Napoli, Jason MacGuffee, Adam Beckworth, Chris Tarantino, and Mitchell Kramer. While not every performance warranted praise, none was a disaster either.
It was clear from the overly reverent approach Mr. Myers took to directing his own script - including many uncomfortable pauses - that he wanted the play to add up to more than it did. He is in the right place to continue research and development, and so are these actors.
Return to Volume Four, Number Twelve
Return to Volume Four Index
Return to Home Page
Copyright 1998 James A. Lopata