In James Lantz’s “The Bus”, two teenage boys share a secret love in a small midwestern town.
“The Bus”, at 59E59 Theaters through October 30th, is kind of a protest play, broadly about “the love that dare not speak its name,” but with no polemics and plenty of heart.
Bryan Fitzgerald (back) withWill Roland . Photo by Carol Rosegg
Ian (Will Roland) and Jordan (Bryan Fitzgerald) meet in an abandoned bus that serves as the landmark pointing to the Golden Rule Church looming at the top of the hill. Ian’s angry father, Harry (Travis Mitchell) owns the land on which the vehicle is parked, and its presence on his property begins to irk him.
There is a character called The Little Girl (Julia Lawler) in “The Bus” who is the scene-setter and narrator in this intentionally minimalist play. She paints vivid pictures of the surroundings as the story unfolds.
She is also Jordan’s little sister.
While Jordan is disdainful of religion, and open about who he is, Ian is conflicted. His sexuality is as much of concern to him as it is to both his parents.
Ian’s mother, Sarah (Kerry McGann), has substituted church for family since her divorce from Harry. Sarah drags an unwilling Ian to services on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Will Roland as Ian with Bryan Fitzgerald as Jordan in James Lantz’s “The Bus”. Photo by Carol Rosegg
“The Bus” is heartfelt, intimate, and engrossing.
To learn more about and for performance schedules for “The Bus” go to www.59e59.org.
Good people, evil deeds?
You might not be comfortable setting your moral compass by this guy, but Mickey (Michael Mastro) is a great friend.
“Any Given Monday”, Bruce Graham’s award winning play, on stage at 59E59 Theaters through November 6th, explores issues of good and evil, which, in its scope, may be relative, with equal measure of insight and humor.
Paul Michael Valley as Lenny and Michael Mastro as Mickey in Bruce Graham’s “Any Given Monday.” Photo by Carol Rosegg
Mickey and Lenny (Paul Michael Valley) have been buddies since boyhood. Mickey, it seems, will do anything for Lenny.
Michael Mastro has the physicality and delivery reminiscent of Art Carney. His sardonic manner is devastatingly funny.
When Lenny’s wife, Risa (Hilary B. Smith) leaves him for the excitement of an affair with the unseen Frank, Mickey shows up to watch Monday night football with his old pal. He is also there to assure himself that Lenny isn’t suicidal. Lenny’s daughter, Sarah (Lauren Ashley Carter)comes home from college with much the same purpose.
Lauren Ashley Carter as Sarah and Hilary B. Smith as Risa in “Any Given Monday.” Photo by Carol Rosegg
The disimpassioned amorality in “Any Given Monday” is supported by a deep understanding of the philosophical both sides. Or as Mickey tells Sarah, all three sides– most people, he says, do neither the right thing nor the wrong, but rather do nothing.
“Any Given Monday” is good for any day of the week.
Lauren Ashley Carter as Sarah and Michael Mastro as Mickey. Photo by Carol Rosegg
To learn more about and for performance schedules for “Any Given Monday”, please go to www.59e59.org