Theater — Drawer Boy funny, touching
Taxi’s outdoor theater a hit, actors’ showcase
By Michelle Saturley firstname.lastname@example.org
Yellow Taxi Productions’ presentation of Michael Healy’s The Drawer Boy in Greeley Park is a sweet, moving dramedy that had the audience alternately guffawing and sniffling back tears.
The play takes place in 1972 in rural Canada. Miles, a young idealistic actor, shows up at a farm run by two bachelors to research the lives of farmers for a new play.
Of course, there are some funny “city boy doesn’t know squat about farm living” gags, but the focus of this story is Angus. It’s clear from the outset that he is not right in the head. When Miles inquires, Morgan explains that the two men, best friends since elementary school, fought in WW II together. During an air raid in London, Angus was struck in the head. As a result, he has very little long-term memory, and no short-term memory to speak of.
However, when Angus and Morgan attend a rehearsal of Miles’ play, Angus sees his story acted out on the stage and it triggers a reaction that none of the men expected. Angus starts remembering things — things that Morgan would rather keep buried.
Michael Healy’s script and Washington, D.C.-based director James Phillips’ uncluttered direction are the framework of this play, but the three actors are the ones who breathe the life and emotion into it. J.J. Area plays Miles with a lanky, Ashton Kutcher-esque likeability. He captures the naïveté of a 20-something actor who thinks all the world is his stage. Larry Lickteig nails the world-weary, put-upon mindset of Morgan, who has his own reasons for being Angus’s lifelong caretaker.
Scott Severance, who is primarily known in these parts as a comic actor, really sinks his teeth into the comic/tragic role of Angus. Though we first see him as a slightly goofy character, Severance takes Angus to loftier places and makes the audience feel compassion for him.
The Drawer Boy runs July 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Greeley Park. Admission is free. For more information, go to www.yellowtaxiproductions.org
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