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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Xmas Unplugged @ Artist's Rep

In my review of Portland Center Stage's "Twist Your Dickens" I wrote that it was: "both a good way to get a dose of holiday-mirth and get your humbugs out in a safe place before the big day." Artist's Rep's holiday offering on the other hand is not. Think of it this way: "Twist Your Dickens" is a good-natured nose-thumbing to the holidays, "Xmas Unplugged" is a full-on Middle Finger. Only those who view their place on The Naughty List as a point of pride should attend.  I'm sure there is no shortage  of people who fit that description, and the central event in "The Reason for the Season" will probably provide catharsis for some, but don't say I didn't warn you.

The second of the two One-Acts is "The Night Before Christmas", two British thieves and a prostitute have captured someone who claims to be an elf, but may just be a festively dressed drug-using burglar. The play ends on a note just a shade happier than the other, and as cynical as I am, I think I preferred it to the other play for that reason. In fact, its slightly happier resolution even compensated for thick accents that were sometimes difficult to understand. Let me be clear, both were enjoyable in their own ways, they both had moments of laughter, but in the context of the holidays, I guess I appreciate a happier ending, even if the moral is that we should learn to embrace the holidays as an invitation to debauchery. Huh, perhaps this is just enough to ensure that I don't get coal this year.... Fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Second City's "Twist Your Dickens" at Portland Center Stage

"Twist your Dickens" is as the title suggests, a parody of "A Christmas Carol." It uses the basic framework of the classic story to unleash a rapid-fire skewering of all things Christmas, from "It's a Wonderful Life" to "A Charlie Brown Christmas." But, there are aspects of it that make it difficult to review, the Charlie Brown bit for instance, (which was one of my favorite parts) concerns political-correctness and religious observance, it is introduced by a star of the TV-show "Grimm" as an "original ending" that the network wouldn't show. Will the bit still be in the script when someone else does the Celebrity Cameo, who might not be in television? I don't know, and I am sort of curious to find out. There is a improvisational looseness to "Twist your Dickens" which adds to the fun, I suspect there might even be more differences from night-to-night other than the cameos.

All types of humor are represented here, from light-hearted to a jet-black dark closer, (and a healthy-dose of my favorite kind-- cripple jokes-- in between.)  Oh, and there is chocolate at intermission--who doesn't love that?

"Twist your Dickens" is both a good way to get a dose of holiday-mirth and get your humbugs out in a safe place before the big day.

Update: The Charlie Brown bit is permanent!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Does The Fox Say? "FoxFinder" @ Artists Rep

I instantly feel the need to apologize for the title of this post for two reasons: The first being that I have more than likely gotten that wretched song stuck in your head by mere mention. The second is that "FoxFinder" does not deserve to be associated with such dreck. In my defense, however, there is a scene in which a character is slowly gripped by the FoxFinder's paranoia that he claims to have heard the fox's call. In the play's world, even a FoxFinder, (a government investigator tasked with eradicating foxes, who are blamed for all manner of misfortune) has never actually seen nor heard a fox and must consult his manual. Watching him do this, I had a brief mental-chuckle as I imagined the cast breaking into a chorus of "What Does the Fox Say?"As stupid as the thought was, it did serve as a much-needed break from tension. And there is a lot of tension. Tension which is aided by truly haunting sound-design by Doug Newell, which is so rich that it could be called a score. Lighting design too helps create a gothic gloom which reminded me of a dark fairytale world.

I also had the privilege of having the play's climax unfold at my feet, and for those of you who don't know, my disability includes a severe startle reflex. Despite the noise and proximity, I managed to refrain from kicking an actor. I am proud of that, but I also felt the need to include the warning for readers of this blog who are similarly afflicted.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Joe Pug at the Doug Fir Lounge

Last night's performance at the Doug Fir Lounge was the first time I've seen Joe Pug accompanied by a band. This gave Pug's songs a new dimension, and I am still undecided if I prefer them, or Pug's original stripped-down folk versions. It really is a a toss-up. Joe Pug's songs are so richly poetic they nearly defy description, and can only be compared to early Dylan-- right down to heavy use of harmonica. Seriously, the Dylan comparison is well-deserved, Pug's lyrics could easily be read as poetry, and then only enhanced when one learns of their musical accompaniment. Pug seems to be from a different time, someone who would feel at home at Woodstock, or an impromptu performance at a college campus, surrounded by the smell of smoldering Draft cards. If you think lyricism is dead in the Age of Bieber, go see Joe Pug and have your faith restored. Begin with his stunning EP "Nation of Heat", and I am confident you will seek out the rest. Most of Pug's all-too-brief set came from that album. I guess I have to think of it as a French meal, a tiny portion of finely crafted decadence.  I suspect that the food metaphor was likely prompted by my mind still being blown by the quality of food at the Doug Fir. There are plenty of concert venues that have menus of various sizes, but none that I would rate higher than "if you want to be first in line for the door and you don't have time to make anything before you leave, or are hungry between sets, you won't hate having eaten there," and the places that merit such faint-praise are few. The Doug Fir Lounge on the other hand is a destination unto itself. I honestly can not wait until I have another opportunity to see a show there, because it truly is a place to enjoy spending a full evening, feed your body upstairs in the restaurant, then go downstairs and feed your soul with music.  I also must note the accessibility of the venue, and the friendliness of my escorts through the long way around the building to the downstairs entrance, and the venue's open floor allowed me to park myself up front. Great food, great music, and prime, easy to access seating, it really doesn't get any better than that.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Mistakes Were Made" @ Artist's Rep

Michael Mendelson's performance in "Mistakes Were Made" is astounding. It would be impressive under normal circumstances, because he is essentially alone on stage nearly all of the play's ninety-minute length, save for a few brief appearances by a secretary, and large puppet of a fish. In those ninety-minutes, Mendelson must not only breathlessly try to please everyone involved in the Broadway-bound play his character is producing , but also to  keep the audience engaged, while most of the other people he interacts with are on the phone. As I've said, all of this is a feat under the best of conditions for any actor. Now consider that Mendelson had to fill in for an unexpectedly absent leading-man. due to a family emergency. This unspecified emergency took place ten days prior to opening-night, and Mendelson only had a week-long postponement in which to prepare. Add all that together and Mendelson should bee awarded a medallion which declares, "World's Greatest Actor" to be worn unashamedly throughout the run. Ok, maybe that's a bit much, but having read the exact time table in the playbill, I was truly shocked it was possible to learn that many lines in so little time.

The play reminded me a little of "Fully Comitted," a play mounted by Portland Center Stage several years ago, which also involved one man on the phone. If you happened to have seen that show, you are likely to enjoy this one. Go anyway to see an actor embark on a test of endurance.    

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The Big Meal" @ Artist's Rep

"The Big Meal" is a play that shares much with the metaphor of its title, the narrative spans decades in the life of the family at its center,  all of the action taking place in a restaurant, and therefore the lives that unfold before us can be seen as one "Big Meal." And like a big meal, while one can appreciate the breadth of delights spread out upon the table, one might also wish to take a breath or two between courses. The whirlwind pace of "The Big Meal" is quite possibly deliberate, to show how fast time can seem to pass, and in certain ways it is effective, (there are moments when characters appear to age in an instant.), and the skill with which so few actors play so many parts within less than 90 minutes is remarkable. But,  I couldn't shake the feeling that as I worked to keep up with the action in terms of what, where, when, and who, I was missing something in the meantime. Yet, this is a minor quibble, in an otherwise fantastic production. I particularly enjoyed seeing Allen Nause preform again, having enjoyed him in "Death of a Salesman" years ago. Though he is retiring from his post as Artistic Director, I hope that we might get to see him grace the stage every now and then.

There are moments of happiness, dashes of humor, and at least two servings of terrible sadness. Bring your  knife and fork,  some napkins for dabbing tears, and dig in.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Fiddler on the Roof" @ Portland Center Stage

The most striking thing about Portland Center Stage's production of "Fiddler on the Roof" was the unexpected humor. Most of it comes in the witty quips of Tevye, patriarch of a large Jewish family in small Russian village. The best of these come in Tevye's frequent conversations with God. Given the depressing circumstances of most of the play; including forced expulsion of Jewish people by the Czar.

David Studwell plays Tevye, and heads a uniformly impressive cast, including Portland favorite Susannah Mars. They are parents of five daughters, the three oldest of whom are poised to break centuries of tradition by marrying outside of arrangements made by the town's matchmaker.

The choreography is fantastic, and I would venture to say that it has the most dancing of any Portland Center Stage production I have seen. The orchestra is also sprawling, with ten musicians, I would wager that number is close to the largest band Portland Center Stage has assembled.

"Fiddler" is in all ways a fittingly ambitious production, and serves to as an exciting foretaste of things to come.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ron White at Spirit Mountain Casino, Sept. 21, 2013

Ron White, the raspy-voiced, Scotch-swilling comedian of "Blue Collar" fame, brought his unique brand of humor to Spirit Mountain Casino on Saturday Night. White's jokes ranged from gleefully raunchy, (most involving his penchant for drinking; something he indulged in on stage!), to unexpectedly sweet, a brief routine revolved around a friend's participation in The Special Olympics. And then there was a bit about a grisly roller-coaster accident which was in such astonishingly bad-taste that White pretended it was his closer. (I can't lie, it was so funny that I began to choke.).

Ron White's show also ranks among my luckiest, (though not in relation to gambling, don't worry, losses were minimal) No, the show was lucky because I secured press tickets for a sold-out show, which would be lucky enough on its own, but while waiting in line, someone passed me a Meet & Greet sticker. Only the Spirit Mountain photographer was allowed to take pictures, and they will be available soon.

As I noted in my Wanda Sykes review, Spirit Mountain is exceptionally accessible, with things like removable chairs at every slot, and lowered gaming tables. It's always nice to go somewhere that's even reasonably accessible,  given the hassles involved when you come upon a place that isn't, but Spirit Mountain is almost in a class by itself. If anybody who has a disability has not yet been, I highly recommend that you experience it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"The Mountaintop" @ Portland Center Stage

My first exposure to "The Mountaintop" was an interview with Samuel L. Jackson, who played Martin Luther King in the Original Broadway Production. In the interview, Jackson referenced a small moment in the play in which King urinates, and that our collective view of King is of a man so revered that we are almost surprised that he too was subject to the elimination of bodily fluids.

Katori Hall's play is full of little revelations that might come as a bit of shock to those only familiar with the History Book King. Equally unsettling are the moments when we are reminded of our government's role in impeding the progress of The Civil Rights Movement. We like to think it was just a fight against hateful misguided citizens, and unjust laws in the Southern States, but we are shown this is false in a moment as brief as it is brilliant, when King unscrews his telephone receiver to check for bugs before he calls Room Service for a cup of coffee brought by a maid who is not who she seems on his final night on Earth, after his painfully prophetic "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech.

Rodney Hicks is up to the monumental task of the role he must play, giving us a King who is both stoic and vulnerable. Natalie Paul effortlessly imbues the character of Camae the maid with natural, easy charisma, as she draws out both sides of King's personality.

"The Mountaintop" is well-worth seeing for it's brief and penetrating look inside the life of an icon who was every bit as human and afraid as the rest of us.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Somewhere in Time" @ Portland Center Stage

"Somewhere in Time" is Portland Center Stage's first pre-Broadway production. Based upon the 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve, the musical is in all ways big. PCS's sets are frequently impressive, but those for "Somewhere in Time" signal a new leap forward. The acting is top-notch, with leading man Andrew Samonsky exuding effortless charm, and thus great chemistry with leading-lady Hannah Elless.

One of the most striking things about "Somewhere in Time" is the depth of the cast, I could be wrong, but I would wager that this is the largest cast ever assembled for a PCS production, what richer harmonies! And yet, one must not discount the power of the solo, my favorite number was "The Grand Hotel",  sung by David Cryer as long-time porter Arthur, which ends with a show-stopping final-note.

The source material was written by Richard Matheson, who is also responsible for "What Dreams May Come", and "I Am Legend" The premise is that playwright Richard Collier goes back to 1912 to find a long-lost love, stage actress Elsie MacKeannah, by willing himself there mentally.

"Somewhere in Time" was a pleasure to watch, and I hope that it might pave the way for PCS to serve as an "incubator"--,to use Artistic Director Chris Coleman's term- for future Broadway-bound shows.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Ithaka" by Andrea Solowitz

"Ithaka" was the result of a local New Work Contest called The Fowler/Levin Prize. I note this first for a couple of reasons: One is that I have always felt privileged to be among the first to see work that few others have seen. The other reason is: The Prize reminds me that I live in a city which values the arts, and sadly we need such reminders these days, when our Paper of Record not only editorializes against a modest Arts Tax, but also when that tax faces hurdles to implementation, takes the opportunity to crow.....

From the Playwright's Note we learn that the events in the play are compiled from the recollections of local Veterans of the current wars. My first thought when I read that was: "Oh, that must've been so interesting!" A purely journalistic reaction, one which envied Ms. Stolowitz's opportunity to research a subject, and have people tell her their stories. Sitting here now, having seen the play, and needing a full day to digest it enough to write about it, I realized how divorced from the subject-matter my reaction was....

"Ithaka" takes its title from the island Odysseus is returning to in The Odyssey, after the Trojan War. Odysseus  is briefly used as a character in the play, to serve as an early example of a soldier who gets lost on his journey home.

The play's protagonist is Capt. Elaine Edwards (Dana Millican), who is in the grip of PTSD. Millican plays the character as if she's split into thirds: a woman putting on a brave and happy face, a woman struggling to cope with the things we expect, like nightmares, and a woman teetering on the edge of sanity...

I've said before that this season has probably been Artists Rep's best, a season filled with hard-hitting shows. I must say once again that I am thankful for things like the Fowler/Levin Prize, and I am also thankful for Artists Rep, a venue willing to nurture the work.

Friday, May 31, 2013

"The Schemes of Scapino" @ Clackamas Community College

"The Schemes of Scapino" is a hilarious romp. And there can be no romp without a hammy and engaging lead. Jayme S. Hall is Scapino, and  to b call him energetic would be an understatement. He seemed to be especially skilled at improv, for which the show has ample opportunity. As the title suggests, Scapino is an accomplished scam artist, he ensnares the fathers of two friends in a plot to steal their money, which will  allow their sons to marry the brides of their choice. The play is adapted from Moliere, whose work was also adapted from the play "Les Foourberies." As adapted by director James Eikrem, the play makes brilliant use of both slapstick humor inspired by silent films, and pop-culture references. The set is also impressive, an expansive dock by Resident Scenic Designer Chris Whitten.

The laughs are rapid-fire and I am tempted to divulge a few, but that would be unkind. I find it irresistible not to tip my hat to Mr. Eikrem for forcing one his actors to scream "Scap-penis!" One of the best lines I've heard this season!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ruthie Foster @ San Juan Community Theatre, Friday Harbor, WA

I was home alone. My father had his massive Itunes collection on shuffle, a Ruthie Foster song began to play and I did a double-take. I then made short work of the three albums he had. I went on her website and found that she was making three tour stops o the San Juan Islands. I knew we had to go.

The day began with a workshop, which turned out to be more like a mini-concert. The open and relaxed Ms. Foster gave insights into her writing and singing processes, and played requests for the small audience lucky enough to know of the workshop.

The evening performance appeared to be a near sell-out of the intimate and quaint San Juan Community Theatre. My description of the theatre should not indicate a low-key show. A stand-out moment was "People Grinnin' in your Face" in which Ms. Foster made her way into the crowd without missing a beat.

There were many times where it felt a bit like church. At the end, Ms Foster received a well-earned standing ovation, and I got the sense that a few in the crowd were subscribers to the theatre who had little idea what to expect, only to be stunned by passionate, sweet, utterly dynamic voice they heard. Heck, I knew what to expect, and I was pretty stunned, too.

Monday, May 6, 2013

"The People's Republic of Portland" @ Portland Center Stage

"The People's Republic of Portland" is a one-woman show by "The Daily Show" alum Lauren Weedman. It has the feel of a stand-up routine, or a small-group conversation with a knowing audience. The intimate Ellyn Bye Studio is a perfect fit. One of funniest bits comes at the beginning of the show when Weedman recalls overhearing a conversation where the group was complaining about our city's portrayal on the similar "Portlandia" television show. She then notes that-as if on cue- a cavalcade of the residents who "Keep Portland Weird" show up outside the coffee shop window, including a machete-wielding uni-cyclist..

Other choice moments include: Weeman's observation that residents of The Pearl are far more tolerant of dogs than children, a joke which is both probably true, as well as a gutsy one to make at a theatre situated in the heart of The Pearl District.

Taking a class with a name so New-Age I can't even recall it, hosted by none other than our homegrown streaker who dared to strip naked in protest of the TSA.

And Weedman's likely warranted self-consciousness about letting her 3 year-old watch a movie on a portable device while several other children were engaged in more interactive pastimes. She tells of draping the poor kid with her coat, to avoid the judgmental gaze of Portland Parents.

If you can appreciate our city's eccentricities, and unlike the ladies at the coffee shop, can tolerate an outsider pointing them out, you will enjoy "The People's Republic of Portland."

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Clybourne Park" @ Portland Center Stage

"Clybourne Park" ties with "Venus in Fur" for my favorite production at PCS so far this season. Both have an edge, and both have biting wit.

"Clybourne Park" is a slight sequel to Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun". Act I tells the story of the white family who sells their house in the Clybourne Park neighborhood to the black Younger family, over the strenuous objections of their neighbors. Act II fast-forwards 50 years, the neighborhood is now predominately black, and tensions arise when a white couple wants to tear-down the house....

"Clybourne Park" is an exquisitely constructed piece, and therefore it is difficult to highlight the best moments without ruining the surprise. I must note however that Andy Lee Hillstrom as the smarmy preacher is hilarious, and there is a joke in Act II that is at once so funny, vulgar, and offensive that the actors had to maintain their shocked expressions and stunned silence for what must have been much longer than expected, in order for the uproarious audience laughter to die down....

Once again, I think "Clybourne" is among the best of the season, and I am not alone, it also won the Pulizer Prize for Best Play.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jon Lovitz @ Helium Comedy Club

Jon Lovitz, frequent "Simpsons" guest star and protagonist of the criminally underrated "The Critic" is performing four shows at Portland's Helium Comedy Club. (Two last night and two more tonight at 7:30 & 10:00 PM.)

First things first, I must note that The Helium made sure I had a prime view of the stage, and I would say they are entirely wheelchair-friendly. Everything about the club is upscale, from the food to the ambiance.

For someone who I am familiar with from network television and relatively benign comedy films, Jon Lovitz's routine was much edgier than I was expecting. I can not think of a single joke I would feel comfortable reprinting here--that is not a criticism, in fact it is high praise. I imagine he gets away with a lot because of his wry smile.

It was a fantastic night, I cannot wait to return to Helium, and I highly recommend catching the final shows tonight.

Jon Lovitz

Helium Comedy Club 1510 SE 9th Ave

Tonight 7:30 & 10:00 PM

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"The Whipping Man" @ Portland Center Stage

"The Whipping Man" is a gripping historical drama, focusing on a wounded Confederate soldier and his two former slaves. One of the most interesting aspects of the play is its exploration of Judaism during the Civil War, it is a theme that seems to be historically neglected.

Gavin Gregory gives an assured performance as strong and devout Simon, and Christopher Livingston shifts effortlessly between comically cunning and devastatingly serious.

Tony Cisek's giant set is spectacular. "The Whipping Man" is a thoroughly impressive production in every way. The run of the show seems to be just slightly shorter than standard, it ends on March 23rd, so I'd encourage everyone to hurry, but I believe it is certainly deserving of an extension , perhaps I'll get my wish.


Simon: Gavin Gregory

Celeb: Carter Hudson

John: Christopher Livingston

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Red Herring" @ Artists Repertory Theatre

Artists Repertory Theatre seems to have read my mind when they planned this season. "Seven Guitars" is one of my top three August Wilson plays, and a prequel to one of the other plays on that short list, "The Lost Boy" tapped into my obsession with True Crime, and now "Red Herring" feeds my endless appetite for film noir.

"Red Herring" is a thoroughly twisty mix of noir detective story, paranoid spy thriller, and somewhat unexpectedly, a hilarious exploration of love and marriage. It is very refreshing to see a show with those three genres, and to have most of the comedy result from the romantic angle rather than a spoof of the other two. Michael Hollinger is a gifted writer, and I hope to see more of his work in the future.

The set is magical, I was chatting with the Marketing Director and she said that even though she has seen it from all angles, she is still mystified by it.

At the end of this roller-coaster of a show, I was reminded of that famous conversation director Howard Hawks had with novelist Raymond Chandler while adapting "The Big Sleep," Hawks asked Chandler who killed Owen Taylor, and Chandler himself didn't know...

"Red Herring" is a wonderful show, if anyone out there was late with a Valentine's Gift, this might be just what you're looking for.....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Venus in Fur" @ Portland Center Stage

"Venus in Fur" is a stunning show. Stunning in the way it bombards the viewer with head-spinningly fast reversals of power and particularly in the way Ginny Myers Lee manages to essentially play three characters at once. When we meet her she is goofy Vanda, a seemingly air-headed actress who auditions for Thomas's (David Barlow)  adaptation of "Venus in Furs," a novel by Leopold Von Sacher Masoch, the man who lends his name to the word "masochism".  As she disappears into role of a dominatrix, we see for the first time she is not who she seems. Then she later begins to take on attributes of the character outside of scene work and becomes an entirely different person. Along the way, the play explores the attraction of power and control in relationships as well as the creative process.

It is an edgy play, but interestingly, only in what is said. There is no nudity, and yet it can almost seem pornographic at times. It is a mindbinder. It is exceptionally tense, and yet often funny. I absolutely loved it. It is without a doubt my favorite production at PCS so far this season! (I like the edgy stuff a lot....) But, I wouldn't take your grandmother....

Monday, January 14, 2013

"I Love to Eat" at Portland Center Stage

I saw "I Love to Eat" at the perfect time in my life, I have just begun to cook and I've had enough successes that I've arrived at the "this is fun!" stage. If playwright James Still's portrait of James Beard is accurate, Mr. Beard does not seem to have ever left that stage. He was a foodie, but not a food snob. My favorite parts of the play were the little pearls of wisdom he gives the audience about food, cooking, his own process, and tips and tricks.  One of these is his distaste for pretension, (he hated the word "cuisine" to describe American cookery.) There's a moment where he lavishes praise on fellow TV-chef Julia Child's garlic mashed potatoes, though he quick to wonder whether the cream sauce is necessary....

The play shares its name with Mr. Beard's cooking show, the first of its kind, and the title does seem an apt description of the man and his philosophy. He loved to eat, and viewed food as a path to happiness. Some of us got to share in his love for food right there in the moment, as the actor (Rob Nagle)  prepared onion sandwiches for the first row....

The highest compliment I can pay the show is that it has inspired me to seek out one of James Beard's cookbooks.... Throughout the show Mr. Beard insists that it was his mission to convince people that cooking is not something reserved for the elite, and I will take him at his word, his approach is very enticing to a beginner, and seems to start with a love for eating. I have that in spades, oh and I have a monogrammed apron just like his... I'm well on my way!

"The Lost Boy" @ Artists Rep

"The Lost Boy"  recounts the 1874 kidnapping of Charley Ross in Philadelphia, America's first kidnapping for ransom. Charley is the son of a once wealthy man, but the stock market has crashed and they are living on credit, making the $10,000 ransom a nearly impossible demand. The kidnapping inspired many of our modern day anxieties and fearful admonitions, such as "don't take candy from strangers." (Charley and his brother Walter are lured away from their front yard with the promise of candy and fireworks.)

The case captures the attention of the burgeoning mass-media, and the bizarre and almost sickening imagination of showman P.T. Barnum, who makes frequent appearances in the play and finds some truly odd ways to incorporate the tragedy into his travelling circus acts, culminating in a stomach-turning offer to Charley's father in the play's final moments.....

My favorite scenes-the ones that stayed with me the longest, and were so unnerving that I was surprised they didn't creep into my dreams-were those in which one of the kidnappers, Bill Mosher, (Duffy Epstein) hisses menacingly at the anguished father pulled in so many directions by the police and the media, reminding him that he has his child...  Eventually the play becomes about Charley's father and how he is slowly ensnared in the media's voyeuristic trap, it's very hard to watch......