It is the perfect storm of impeccable acting, authentic portrayals, dynamite direction, memorable characters, and a seldom produced play that makes "Lone Star" by James McClure, which closed at The Wild Project this past weekend and is moving to The Triad on May 6th for a limited, two-performance run, the MUST SEE show for May.
The story takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar in 1972. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and realizes that all he has left are memories of his glory days, his adoring younger brother Ray, his wife Elizabeth, and his now-crumbling 1959 pink Thunderbird.
Joined by Ray, Roy sets about consuming a case of Lone Star beer while regaling his brother with tales of his military and amorous exploits.
But with the arrival of Cletis, the fatuous, newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy's world gradually begin to collapse.
The hour long, one-act play as produced by Nine Theatricals and directed by Pete McElligott, has more life and memorable moments than many of the longer plays I get to see on the New York stage. Matt de Rogatis as Roy is exceptional as the reminiscing Vietnam vet who anchors the the story with his bravado and pathos. He is a character that that can be lovable at one moment and frightening the next, but Mr. de Rogatis gives a level of realism and authenticity to his performance of Roy that makes this character absolutely unforgettable.
As his brother Ray, Chris Loupos brings the perfect balance needed to make this character bigger than life. In the hands of an inexperienced actor, Ray could easily become a secondary character, a foil for Roy, but Loupos hits it out of the park, at one moment funny, at another surprising, and always real. Cletis, played by Greg Pragel, has a much smaller part but is equally outstanding, hysterically funny, and sympathetic as the geeky nerd that gets on Roy’s nerves. Not one moment or opportunity is lost with this talented ensemble.
The story moves fast, cleanly, with peaks and valleys and I was hanging on every word.
Lone Star is a one-act play that’s only been produced once before in the New York City area since its original 1979 Broadway run, but clearly still has a bite. Thanks to the folks at Nine Theatricals, it played to great reviews at The Wild Project and will have an extended short run at The Triad Theater which will feature an added acoustic musical performance prior to the play.
For those who don’t know, The Triad is a "2-drink minimum" venue, but with discounted tickets, audiences will be in for a treat. The house should be filled so book your tickets now. Don’t miss out. I mean it. If you want to enjoy a wonderful evening of theatre, order your tickets, take a date, have a drink and thank me later for an affordable, stellar evening of theatre! Two nights only: Saturday, May 6th at 9PM and Saturday, May 13th at 9PM.
Lone Star is STELLAR.
For tickets and information, visit their website here: http://www.drinkbeerraisehell.com/tickets.html
You can also purchase tickets here: http://www.triadnyc.com/event/a37f65d22594880eeee711989254449f