Friday, May 13, 2016

Review of The Few at Steep Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Few. It was by Samuel D. Hunter and it was directed by Brad Akin. It was about these people named QZ (Dana Black), Matthew (Travis Coe), and Bryan (Peter Moore). They all work or used to work for this newspaper for truckers. But Bryan has left for four years after his friend died and used to be in a serious relationship with QZ and has come back because he doesn't have anywhere else to go. It is about how no matter how long you leave somewhere, when you come back there will still be a shred of what used to be there. Even though the paper has changed and Matthew now works there and Bryan and QZ now argue all the time, it still feels like there is a little of the same paper and a little of the same people left. It is about people who are not very good at being people; they have trouble interacting and not hurting themselves or other people. Some of it is kind of depressing, but some of it is also kind of hopeful. I thought this was a really moving and funny show. I really enjoyed it a lot. You definitely need to get your brain working before you see this show because there are a lot of things to hypothesize or try to understand. And if you don't, you wouldn't be able to understand the show.

For their newspaper they have these personal ads where people will put out a little message in the newspaper so that they could find somebody to love. QZ has set up this voicemail so that she doesn't have to pick up the phone every time and people can still leave their message. QZ doesn't really want to pick up the phone because she would rather spend her time quietly playing Tetris. The game disconnects her from the outside world and in the world of Tetris there are no people asking her for help or telling her what to do there are just little colorful blocks. QZ wants the paper to keep going, and when Bryan is around she feels like she has to be really cool and like she is not hurt at all by him leaving. Bryan has a different way of coping. He doesn't distract himself from the messages; he listens to the messages even when he is not copying them. There is this one woman named Cindy who is trying to make one of the ads but doesn't really know how. And it is very funny because she doesn't really know what she is doing and she keeps trying to start over and talking to the answering machine like it will talk back. She seems like such a sweetheart, but it is also kind of sad and depressing because she asks for the person to be nonviolent, which probably means she was hit and abused by her last partner. I feel like this phone message sums up the entire play because she has some very very funny moments but then she is not a completely well character.

The BB gun scene was my favorite scene. I found it so hilarious because the way that Matthew acts is like it is a real gun and it is a dire situation and all he can do to save his cause is to shoot Bryan. The audience thinks it is a real gun at first, but then Bryan says that it is a BB gun and then everyone just kind of laughs it off. Matthew's cause is that he wants the paper to continue being up and running and he wants Bryan to work with him to make it more like it was when he read it as a kid. It shows you that Matthew is not a violent person, but he is trying to be very threatening for his cause. It is funny and sad, though, because this is what it has come to, shooting each other over a newspaper. And the BB gun, even though it isn't a real gun, does too much damage for a BB gun which I felt like was the funniest part because of Bryan's reaction and how he really thought he wouldn't get hurt. I found that very hilarious, especially when he chased Matthew around the room and Matthew said, "You can't catch me. I'm spry." It seemed like Matthew had made up a catch phrase, and it was an awesome one too!

When I started writing this review I couldn't entirely tell who the main character was. It might be Bryan because he has a big problem and now he is coming back to a new situation. It might be QZ because during the play she sees what she actually wants to do with her life. It might be Matthew because he is the one who discovers new things and he is the one who has a big cause. I thought that that uncertainty was really cool because you got to know all of the characters very well, instead of just really learning a lot about one and the others being on the sidelines. And you can say that there is no main character or that they are all the main characters. I felt like all of these characters, you understood them, but they couldn't understand themselves. Which I find very sad, now that I think about it. But in a weird way I think they understand each other, and that makes it less depressing. They are people who are so disappointed in themselves that they couldn't understand themselves, but I do think that it is kind of sweet that they understand where each other are coming from.

People who would like this show are people who like awesome catch phrases, equally fascinating characters, and Tetris. I think that people should definitely, definitely go see this show. I found it moving and lovely. I really loved it.

Photos: Gregg Gilman

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