Sunday, March 04, 2018

Zeitgeist Stage Company Presents "Steve" by Mark Gerrard - A Riveting Tragicomedy - Through March 24

Mark Gerrard's playwright voice sounds a bit like Terrence McNally with his acerbic wit. In Gerrard's tragicomedy "Steve," we met two gay couples who have been together for some time and the once red hot passion has cooled to a tepid state. Stephen (Alex Jacobs) and Steven (Victor Shopov) have an adopted son, Zach. Things are not going well. Zach seems to be a kleptomaniac with a speech impediment. Stephen supports the household as a lawyer, while former chorus boy and dancer Steven is a stay-at-home Mom to Zach. Steven has discovered on Stephen's iPhone that he has been sexting with their friend, Brian (Mike Nilsson), who is in a long term relationship with Matt (Mikey DiLoreto). Matt and Steven  used to wait tables and sing with Carrie (Jenny Reagan). Carrie is a listing ear for Steven, but she has just broken up with her girlfriend, and she has a terminal disease. Steven remains in denial.

Issues of infidelity, the inevitable fading of physical beauty and attractiveness, the nature of friendship, monogamy, and death are all explored with great care and cleverness by Mr. Gerrard, and acted out superbly by this strong ensemble - a sextet, if you will. Director David J. Miller skillfully directs the pace of this show that runs for 75 minutes in one act.The timing of the dialogue is crucial, for the playwright writes as people talk - stepping on one another's lines, interrupting each other mid sentence, and finishing one another's thoughts. In the case of Steven, Carrie, and Matt, they pepper each paragraph with Broadway musical allusions. I counted close to 100 of them as they went zinging past me. These quips and quotes from show tunes not only punctuate the conversations, they serve as the oxygen that these people breath, and function as a life line that keeps them from drifting away with the outgoing tide of approaching middle age and decrepitude. Matt and Brian try to hold the inevitable at bay by engaging Trainer Steve at their gym. Trainer Steve soon becomes part of their household and a third party to their relationship. In the meantime, Stephen and Steve cannot seem to get over the contretemps of the sexting episode, and things are falling apart as Carrie slips away. Then there is the handsome Argentine waiter, Esteban (Adam Boiselle), with whom Steven is smitten. Estaban is ubiquitous, offering distraction with every movement of his supple hips.

Mikey DiLoreto as Matt, Alex Jacobs as Stephen
Jenny Reagan as Carrie, Victor Shopov as Steven
Adam Boiselle as Estaban, Mike Nilsson as Brian
"Steve" by Mark Gerrard
Directed by David J. Miller
Zeitgeist Stage Company
Plaza Black Box Theatre at BCA
Through MArch 24
Photo by David 

Costue Design is by Elizabeth Cole Sheehan, Lighting Design is by Michael Clark Wonson, and Sound Design is by Jay Mobley.

The action and the dialogue are rife with humor, conflict, and pathos. Each character is well developed, and the arc of the story held my attention throughout. The writing is inspired, and the ensemble acting is flawless. This is a play you will not want to miss. It runs at the BCA through March 24th - Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays at 8:00, Saturdays at 4:00 and 8:00, and Sundays at 4:00.

Zeitgeist Stage Website



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