A comedy by Scott Organ
Ivy Tech John Waldron Rose Firebay
Jan 12-14, 2011 at 8pm
Phoenix is a funny, smart and witty comedy by Scott Organ about optimism, pessimism, the future, time travel, and just how tentative, painful, funny and meaningful relationships can be. It’s at the Rose Firebay of the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, in a Gunstar Production directed by Tracy Bee.
Bruce, played by Gabe Gloden, and Sue, by Emily Goodson, met at a bar. They felt some magnetism and ‘hooked up.’ Bruce doesn’t remember her last name and doesn’t even have her phone number. Sue doesn’t remember his last name either, but did get his phone number.
As the play begins, it’s a month later. Sue has been out of town. She’s called Bruce and the nervous pair is getting together over coffee to feel one another out. There were a good many laughs as the two fenced with one another with approaches, retreats, parries and feints. It ends in a bit of a standoff and a tentative handshake on a future meeting.
The plot does thicken and darken, but the wry, resilient humor persists and the basic goodness of the characters underlies the story. Playwright Organ has written a very interesting and funny riff for Bruce as he pretends to be a time traveler from the future with a mixture of painful and optimistic predictions. Sue’s character also continues to grow as a sympathetic figure.
Director Tracy Bee and the technical crew have produced a nicely pace production. Gabe Gloden and Emily Goodson clearly enjoy exploring their roles as a couple. The plot of Phoenix does follow the classic ‘boy meets girl, loses girl, gets girl’ formula, but with some real depth and twists along the way. I don’t remember a single one of these romantic comedies that ends with the man turning off his casserole and the couple venturing out to explore their relationship by going bowling.
Scot Organ’s comedy Phoenix at the Rose Firebay of the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center has final performances tonight and Saturday night at eight.
At the theatre for you, I’m George Walker.