Reviewed by Sandra Ross
August 16, 2002
There's not an ounce of fat on writer-director Robert
McCaskill and writer-performer Alex Lyras' tightly structured one-person
show. This is a meaty, hard-muscled performance — consisting of five
monologues rendered by the appealing Lyras, loosely based on Homer's Odyssey
— detailing the intersection of several lives one evening in New York during
The journey begins with Jonathan, a teacher who proffers Ecstasy
cooked up in a high school science lab. (Joel Daavid's lighting and set
design are used to great effect during the drug-trip sequence.) A monologue
by a loudmouthed plumbing contractor fresh from a gambling binge in Atlantic
City explores the rituals of casino life, while a bit by a laid-off Web
designer seesaws between physical comedy and barely repressed violence.
Manny, a tough-talking lawyer, provides the most menacing segment; his story
is propelled by the mugging of a ticket scalper. The tales converge in the
final monologue, delivered by a man rendered mute by the events of September
Lyras and McCaskill have created a dreamscape peppered with literary
allusions, but one that wisely doesn't adhere too strictly to Odysseus'
New Avenue Theatre Project at the Lillian Theater, 1076 North
Lillian Way, Hollywood.; Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 4. (323) 860-6691.
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