Brian’s Bait Shack/Extreme Playwright’s Adventure
Performance Space Orlando
Carl F Gauze
Given 48 hours, could you come up with a whole new idea, an entertaining idea, then explain it to half a dozen other people, and get it on stage? Sure, you just THINK you can’t, but the PSO crew can. PSO gave a dozen writers, directors, and actors that chance, and they performed. The setting — a backwoods bar, specializing in cold bait and live beer, with a Not Quite Ready For Cheers cast that wanders in and out. Uneven, but intriguing, the collection of 8 vignettes shows some promise and a few dead ends.
Strongest in potential and weakest in execution is “Jesus gets Drunk,” where Our Savior hangs out, drops lines, plans this weekend’s softball game with Hell, and discusses God’s sexual proclivities. I always heard He was incorporeal, and thus asexual, but you know how stories get around.
Another promising segment, “Ashes,” delves into an alcoholic and abusive family. Blame it all on Dead ‘ol Dad, and let his remains remain in his favorite haunt. You can always replace those ashes if you get lonely.
More problematic was the well acted opener “Right Bait.” Curt Nichols and Beth Malloy presented a sexy pick up scene in a sleazy bar, but it wasn’t clear how they were broken apart by the appearance of “Gator Bait Nichol’s” water ski client. Mystifying. More pickups of the second kind followed immediately with the sad story of “Beer Bottle Glasses,” with Mr. Know It All working toward getting lucky or getting beat to pulp by the local rough trade. The end caught you off guard, but thepath to that end was a bit annoying.
All in all, the works presented were a good showing for a crew working under pressure. It’s not polished, and it’s not improv, but some promising twigs sprouted this evening.