The stage lights cast their silhouettes onto the back wall of the Mission theater as TJ and Dave went through a cast of characters that featured a concierge, his friend, the hotel boss, a one-armed custodian, a guest and his drunk wife, a bartender, and a drunk patron.
I focused on their technique. Forceful, abrupt changes of movement or direction made it clear that TJ or Dave had changed character, sometimes with a giant smile briefly visible during the transition. Because the Mission theater had microphones hanging down, they didn’t worry about facing the audience nor always facing each other. When Dave made a physical move that TJ hadn’t seen, he stayed frozen in the move until TJ turned to face him. With economy of dialogue that also took advantage of physicality and stage picture, they were able to indicate which characters they called back. There was one moment during the set in which I was confused whether the bartender had broken up with the drunk patron (it was clarified later in the set that the break up had been with someone else), and I was curious if that uncertainty had existed in either the minds of TJ or Dave.
I enjoyed how playful the set was. There were fun turns of phrase and references:
“What does concierge translate to?”
“That’s an adage, not an idiom.”
“The children of cats eat mice.”
“Why don’t you just say kittens?”
I thought I saw Dave break at one point during the set, but his back was to the audience, so it wouldn’t have been noticeable to most folks.
I left with scenes projected as memories onto my mind and greater consciousness of so many ways to grow.