A man, traveling around the country, visits a list of ex-girlfriends to “right wrongs” with. He starts in Seattle with his high school girlfriend, goes to Chicago, Boston and finally Los Angeles. The protagonist in Some Girl(s), a Western theater production, is Guy (Andy Reinhardt/Jason Huff), a writer and professor by occupation, does all of this a few weeks before his wedding.
The Western Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Some Girl(s),” a production playing March 1-3 and March 7-10 at 7:30 p.m., and March 3 and March 9-10 at 10:30 p.m. in the Underground Theatre in the Performing Arts Center. Guy could be anyone’s friend who never settled down. In his 30s, he moved from place to place dating girls and leaving them for the next town. In the production he notes his long list of women he should fly to visit, but cannot because of finances. His character is real and not far-fetched: I know guys like him.
The women’s believability creates an atmosphere where the character’s dialogues and actions are enough entertainment as needed. The ex-girlfriends, Sam (Shelby Easley), Tyler (Andrea Nelson), Lindsay (Laura Engles) and Bobbi (Francesca Betancourt), never overplay their character. Instead of theatrics from this play, we get a dose of reality. They are similar to my description of Guy: we all know women like them. Though they are all drastically different, we know women just like each one of them.
When walking into the Underground Theatre, it is unlike most theater experiences. Seats line the wall in a squared U-shape. A set without a stage sits in the middle, and lights shine from above projecting a picture onto the set.
The set, which is a constructed hotel room, has walls of a mesh, transparent material that allows the viewer to peek inside the hotel room. Almost all the structure is transparent, except for a few corners. But, when the lights above the set are turned on, the mesh walls become almost solid and harder to see through. The structure is movable, and spins between Guy’s visits to his ex-girlfriends.
What is most interesting about this play is not the storyline, but the visual elements of the production. Guy’s visits are juxtaposed with airline sounds, a moving set, and a visual element played on the mesh walls. This element is a clip of some sort: a clip of Guy and his fiancé, Alex; a clip of Alex trying on wedding dresses or a clip of their life together. This feed plays while the set is turning. Each time Guy visits a different ex-girlfriend, the set stops at a different angle each time, giving each section of the audience a new perspective.
The play’s believable acting created a truthful story, in a script that could become a mess without the right direction and actors. The script, which is interesting at some points and boring at others, relies on the set, direction and acting of the play to make it wildly entertaining. The actors embodied their characters and brought raw emotion to dramatic yet comedic piece.
The storyline is quirky, but fun. At moments I found myself laughing at the light-hearted nature, but at other moments I felt uncomfortable because it seemed intrusive for me to be there. It seemed like parts of this play were too private between the characters for me to see. At times I wanted to shut my eyes to give them some privacy, but I didn’t.
Overall I think the visual elements made the play what it is. The acting seemed to supplement the visual attraction to the play, but the storyline was my least favorite part. If the “Some Girl(s)” performed in the main theatre instead of the Underground Theater, with all the intricate and innovative set pieces, it would be less entertaining. The actors and set carry the storyline more than the actual words do.