NOHO ARTS DISTRICT Theatre Review - by Samantha Simmonds - Ronceros
Electricity Witten by Terry Ray
Directed by Steve Rosenbaum
Produced by Michael Darner
Electricity is a play about connections, the kind of human connections we make with so few people in our lives that when to actually meet someone really important to us, sparks can literally fly.
The two particular people around which this story revolves are Brad Burke and Gary Henderson, who is played with a warm sarcastic brilliance by Terry Ray, who also happens to be the playwright….is that considered cheating in the acting world? If it is it is easily forgiven, Terry Ray is alarmingly good, and creates the kind of character we all long for in our lives. I wanted to take him home with me if I’m perfectly honest….
Brad Burke, played with a wild kind of sadness by Kevin Scott Allen is Gary’s first and only love, although they have never really met. They know each other from high school, and, as Gary is mortified to discover, Brad always knew Gary’s feelings for him and even played on them, undressing extra slowly in the locker room when he knew Gary was looking. Gary is still in the closet, Brad is well and truly ‘out’ and a waiter in New York, living the wild life of a single gay man in the eighties.
The play is set in a hotel room in some middle american chain motel on the evening of Gary and Brad’s High school reunion. The first scene is on the ten year anniversary and Gary suggests to Brad that he share his hotel room, as he has made no other arrangements for the night. Gary is still desperately trying to maintain the illusion that he is straight, going so far as to invent a wife, who sadly couldn’t attend…Brad gets him drunk, and seduces him….hilariously.
What follows is a scene in the same hotel room every ten years, a pact made on the second meeting that they would always spend this time together, regardless of where their lives take them.
This play so touched me, it is funny, very, very funny in fact, but there is also so much truth in these two men and their deep feelings for each other. Brad is a sex addict and totally unable to commit to anything more than a few weeks with one person. Gary pines for him but also accepts his limitations and loves him anyway…
As they move through their lives, together in their hearts but always apart, their love only deepens and Brad even tries a couple of weeks at a time with Gary, unsuccessfully of course. But in the end it is their undeniable connection, their ‘electricity’ that holds them to each other, through drama, depression, and even imminent death.
I believe that we are surrounded by the people we are for a reason, and that we are drawn back to them again and again over many lifetimes. They may change bodies, sex and roles in our lives but the souls of those who are a part of us will always be with us. And this play sort of illustrates that theory, only over one lifetime, with two ‘soul mates.’
This is a wonderful play, so brilliantly written and performed, I really couldn’t stop smiling through the entire thing, except when I was weeping, I must have looked very alarming!It’s no surprise that Terry Ray has has worked so much, over 80 plays, and that his writing has earned him so many accolades. Kevin Scott Allen is also a veteran of stage and screen, beginning as a child actor on The Walton’s no less! Together they bring so much talent, warmth and fearlessness, that ‘Electricity’ is a play that will stay in my mind and my heart for a very long time…
I Thoroughly recommend ‘Electricity’ at Two Roads Theatre.
The play runs from April 22nd through May 22nd, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8PM, Sundays at 7PM.
Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujunga Blvd., North Hollywood, 91604
Brad Burke - Kevin Scott Allen
Gary Henderson - Terry Ray
Front of house/Stage Hand - Joe Filippone
Scenic Design - Tom Early
Set Construction/Light Crew - Darrell Geer
Casting Director - Raul Staggs
Publicity - David Elzer
Graphic Designs - Mark Frederking
TMD Productions presents.