Once again, I am reviewing a play that has already closed. Cest la vie.
I actually know the director of “Trout Stanley” — David Gassner — who is the former artistic director over at Theater Schmeater. I got to chat with him for a bit about this show, which he is immensely proud of, and for good reason. It’s a delightfully weird play about two twin sisters (who should have been triplets) and their encounter with a wild man, raised by hateful con artists, named Trout (“What kind of a name is that?” “A fish name”). Sugar, the more homely of the two twins, falls for Trout, while Grace fears that he will take her precious twin away. There are a lot of mythological, tall-tale elements to the story, mainly as the characters talk about their lives and their families.
I wish I had more to say about this play other than “I really enjoyed it,” but that is the main thing. I really enjoyed it. I like weird, mythos-based plays anyway, so I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise. And, this play works amazingly well on stage — I can’t imagine it as a film, at all. It wouldn’t work. The dialogue is composed mainly of longer speeches, which give a tactile sense of the character’s world, but don’t actually mean anything when your rational mind kicks in. This is what theatre is good at conveying. And, the writing was fantastic AND the acting was great so the monologues weren’t hard to sit through — they were down-right engrossing. There was some snappy dialogue, but not in the same way that films rely on short lines and scene cuts. This play is epic new theatre. It informs us about the weirdness of our world and the weirdness of ourselves by using allegorical larger-than-life crazy characters to hold the looking glass up to the audience.
It was a really, truly good piece of live theatre. This is the kind of show that makes me feel like theatre actually works.