A WORLD PREMIERE COMEDY!
Thanks to the
official Terry Southern website for
Directed & Produced by
David LM McIntyre
Cricket S. Myers
Jessica Devra Ferstand
Playwright Charles Pike's riff on the life of the brilliant iconoclastic author Terry Southern (Easy Rider, Dr. Strangelove, Candy) is quirky, engaging, and hilarious. With a sparkling ensemble under the direction of David LM McIntyre, the play captures much of the raunchy, evanescent charm of Southernís life and work. The play takes place over a day in the chaotic life of Southern (Chairman Barnes), who is ensconced in a backwater Texas town where he is struggling to write his magnum opus -- an autobiographical novel about his Texas childhood -- while supporting himself by writing pornography for a sleazy New York publisher. Needless to say, things arenít going well, despite the tender ministrations of his girlfriend, Gail (Bonnie-Kathleen Discepolo); a visit from his hypersexed teenage son, Bigboy (Michael Rachlis); and the advice of an assorted menagerie of friends, including actor Rip Torn (Tanner Thomason), beat poet William S. Burroughs (Roy Allen), and offbeat comedian Professor Irwin Corey (Richard Horvitz). To add to the chaos, Southern is being stalked by government agents, and President Nixon is on the brink of resigning. What ensues is a delightful, surreal romp that would have made Southern proud. Chock-full of scatological humor and irreverent political barbs, mixed in among the pathos of the writer's desperation, the play is hilarious yet poignant. Barnes is outstanding as the beleaguered Southern, at once peevish and pathetic. Rachlis is wonderfully over-the-top as the sexually charged scion, and Discepolo is appealing as Southern's devoted vixen. Horvitz is a hoot as comedian Corey, Allen is spot-on as the deadpan Burroughs, and Thomason is a winning Rip Torn. Richard Sabine is marvelous as the perverted government agent, while Joseph Beck, Tifanie McQueen, and Sean Sweeney have terrific turns in various roles. McIntyre cuts to the chase in his fast-paced direction, which not only corrals the comedy but also seizes the essence of Southernís work and persona, grabbing it by the neck and giving it a shake for good measure.
8, 1974, should be writer Terry's red-letter day. Tricky Dick is poised to
make unsavory history, a ripe situation for any counterculture satirist.
Yet it's just another vexing distraction for Terry.