Mix 'n' match

My Heart and the Real World

By Broken Gopher Ink
Directed by Michael Cuevas
Michael Cuevas and Catimini Collusions
Wings Theatre
Non-union production (closed)
Review by John Chatterton

The program claimed that Broken Gopher Ink is "a mysterious cooperative" that the producer/director (and, rumor has it, author) "has never met ... or even spoken to." The evening itself comprised 13 sketches that can only be described as edgy, dealing with alienation, despair, and loathing (of oneself and others). What skeches were presented on any given night was decided randomly, perhaps in an attempt to corral repeat audiences.

Among the baker's dozen were "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby," narrated by a woman (Meredith Collins) who fucked all four Beatles (and their manager/pimp) and fantasizes about the child she had to give up nine months later. While loaded with a narcotized horror on one level (she was 14 when she let herself be led back to the Fab Four's hotel), the piece bubbles with an undertone of humor, pointed up by casual details (the squalor of the hotel suite; one Beatle's bad breath; another's breaking into tears after sex).

Another standout was "Don't Touch the President's Brain" (again with Meredith Collins), a reminiscence by a cleaning woman who happened to be in the emergency room when President Kennedy was brought in after getting shot. The title is a quote from a Secret Service man who tells her off after she accidentally picks up part of Kennedy's brain.

Other sketches included Joel Acosta as a deranged Trekkie obsessed with Deanna Troy; Dave Durkin as a harassing caller who gets children to divulge secrets, and then uses that information in subsequent harassing calls to the parents; and Jim Jaworski as a manic but ultimately depressing attendee at a reunion. Not a straight arrow in the quiver.

The final sketch, a funeral eulogy (with Harman Ansevin), has the priest dissing God in ever-more-bitter terms. It sums up the sense of futility that underlies all the sketches' weirdness.

The settings mostly comprised chairs and generic set pieces, with an inexplicably detailed garden set for one piece.

The performances and directing could have been sharper. While some of the sketches (mostly monologs) cut to the bone, many bounced off before penetrating the flesh.

(Also featuring Pete Florax, Erin Shields, Brian Rush, Francis Callahan, and Shari Paige Acker.)

Box Score:

Writing: 1
Directing: 1
Acting: 1
Sets: 1
Costumes: 1
Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 2002 John Chatterton