BWW Review: {ADJECTIVE}[NOUN] celebrates local talent at Company Onstage

BWW Review: {ADJECTIVE}[NOUN] celebrates local talent at Company Onstage

{adjective} [noun] is a unique theatrical experience comprised of 18 vignettes which combine to create what the author describes as a symphony in as many movements. It's fast, frenetic, smart, and funny. One of the bonuses is that it was written by Nicholas Garelick who resides here in Houston, and has been quite active on the theater scene in many capacities. He looks like a young Jeff Goldblum. To be honest he's about as quirky as the quantum chaos scientist Jeff played for JURASSIC PARK, and sometimes as dark as the monkey murdering scientist Goldblum created for THE FLY. He's a unique voice, and Company Onstage has wisely chosen to highlight him this year in their program to feature local playwrights.

There is a vibe this is a theatrical "happening" right from the start. The audience enters the auditorium pre-show to find the cast warming up and playing theater games to prepare for the show in a ritual normally completed out of sight from the audience. When the lights dim, one of the actresses steps forward and introduces herself as Nicholas Garelick the author. Quickly she explains she's not REALLY him, but rather a "meat puppet" that he talks through. She never fooled me. She looks nothing like Jeff Goldblum.

The 18 skits or French scenes work well together creating an ebb and flow that when taken as a whole feel like a conversation about the state of the world and human relationships. The common themes seem to be 4am, animals and their instincts, an obsession with INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, and lots of introspective angst about miscommunication. It has all the quirky neurotic beats of a Woody Allen comedy, and in a way reminded me of his film EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK.

The ensemble is comprised of a sort of who's who of Houston theatre's most promising diehards who audiences often see in community spaces and art houses. Aaron Garrett, Audrey Burkhart, Bailey Hampton, Dano Colon, Elizabeth Grant, Kacie Adams, Renata Smith, Todd Thigpen, and Ty Fisher all play well with each other and only occasionally run with scissors. Each of them have their shining moments in this symphony of babble, and they do wonderful work. It does not hurt that they are all guided by Lauren Hainley as the director who would seem to have some intimate knowledge of the playwright and his work. She keeps things moving smartly, and comes up with inventive ways to stage and cement this unique world.

{adjective}[noun] is a charming and thought-provoking production that showcases a homegrown talent, and that is what makes it worth checking out. Tickets and showtimes can be found at www.companyonstage.org . The company is now working out of a space in the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Meyerland. There is good parking, and the space is surprisingly well appointed for theater.

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From This Author Brett Cullum

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