Damn the man!
The Pied Pipers of the
Written and Directed by Derek Ahonen
The Amoralists Theatre Company (www.theamoralists.com)
Gene Frankel Theater,
Non-union (November 2 – 25; Mon, Thu-Sun @ ; Sun @ )
Review by Michael D. Jackson
Derek Ahonen’s fascinating new play, which he has also directed, is a rare creature among the world of off-off-Broadway - it is superb. With a bit more resources in the design area, the show could move as is to a commercial venue and find success. The sensational aspects of nudity and sexual freedom might get people into the theatre, but what they will come away with is an evening full of interesting ideas to ponder.
The plot surrounds a
relationship between Billy, Wyatt, Dear and Dawn, two men and two women, each
of whom demonstrate a sexual appetite for each of the others - it’s a bisexual
haven. They live, rent free, above a fast food vegan restaurant owned by their
benefactor, Donovan. The basic premise sets the stage for a character study of
an unusual foursome, whose bliss is curbed by the arrival of Billy’s younger
brother, Evan, an undergrad frat-boy from
The three-act comedy moves right along, despite its two-and-a-half hour length. It is a comedy with seriousness at heart and is acted beautifully by the cast of five. James Kautz as Billy is the central figure, who seems to keep all involved strung together. Kautz is a likable leader, both commanding and boyishly playful and gives a mesmerizing speech about a near death experience. Matthew Pilieci is the high-strung Wyatt, who is too concerned about life after death for his own sanity. Pilieci walked the line between the dangerous and the comic with believable ferocity. Sara Fraunfelder as Dear made a comforting voice of reason and created a calming energy to the explosive energy of the men. Helena Lee as Dawn was properly sweet as a simplistic love child who might have felt at home during the hippie revolution of the late ‘60s. Tom Bain as Donovan drew a conflicted character with clarity, while showing comic aplomb with the character’s joking nature.
Nick Lawon as Evan was distinct upon entering the stage. Physically, he immediately radiated the opposite of the communal world and while being presented as a stereotypical frat dude, he managed to be universally like that very brother that everyone knows.
The play is sexual, noisy, demanding, message-ridden, sweet, loving, and despite its aggressive nature, is actually rather conventional. This is perhaps why it works so well, for the structure is good and the conflict is relevant. If you’re in for something substantially entertaining and thought provoking, go see it.
Copyright 2007 by Michael D. Jackson
Return to Volume Thirteen, Number Ten Index
Return to Volume Thirteen Index
Return to Home Page