Before I rave about “Bigfoot Stole My Wife and Other Monologues,” it’s important to remember the obvious: You are not likely to be fond of this production if you don’t like monologues.
But for those of us who appreciate the wonder of language, and the skill in subtle acting and directing, this EJG Productions premiere performance is nonstop enjoyment.
Director Ed Gryska mixes material from Ron Carlson’s play (produced in New York in 1987) with his book “The News of the World.” All six actors give us the “reality” that lies beneath some tabloid headlines.
In the opener, a blue-collar worker (KC Davis) sits despondently at a table and explains how bad the house smelled when he came home and found his wife missing. So, what explanation could there be but that Bigfoot stole his wife? Grysaka and Davis’ achievement is that we really key into this guy’s way of thinking. Davis’ performance is beautifully understated and bathed in sorrow. He seems like the kind of guy who would buy a supermarket tabloid because he knows these newspapers are the only outlets that contain the truth.
Sandy Peterson gives us an energetic take on a woman who has to deal with an embarrassing physical problem: Her head literally explodes at the most awkward times.
Frank Nolan, blessed with an amusingly evil, razzle-dazzle smile, explains, as Bigfoot, some of the misconceptions the public has about his life. (For example: He never kidnaps women; he just calls and they come.)
Jason Clark plays a nerdy former insurance investigator who now spends his time touring with the very tablecloth that Jesus and the apostles dined on at the Last Supper. He points out the wine stains and the impressions of 13 placemats. It’s a one-joke sketch, but Clark comes across as so eager to please that you enjoy being in his company.
The young and likably natural Michael Spadoni offers his surprisingly short (and succinct) explanation as to why “I Ate My Best Friend’s Brain.”
And Helen Okonski — who’s never before seemed so earnest and charming on a Vegas stage — shares with us the disadvantages of being able to see into the future in “Madame Zelena Finally Comes Clean.”
This isn’t a major evening of theater, by any means, and it could have used some visuals to help minimize the acting-class atmosphere. But the clean direction and the six performances take us beyond the classroom and into life. They pull us into these characters’ fantasies of the “real” world.
Anthony Del Valle can be reached at DelValle@aol.com. You can write him c/o Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125.REVIEW
What: “Bigfoot Stole My Wife and Other Monologues”
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays (through May 11)
Where: College of Southern Nevada Recital Hall, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas
Tickets: $12 (648-7615)