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Monday, September 12, 2016

"Trevor" @ Artist's Rep

I must admit that when I skimmed the synopsis of "Trevor" in one of Artist Rep's mailings, my first reaction was, "Huh?" I remember a phrase along the lines of, "washed-up showbiz monkey." (You just said, 'huh?,' didn't you?") Now add in the fact that the aforementioned washed-up showbiz monkey is-by stern admonition of playwright Nick Jones-not in  any kind of chimp costume, and your confusion should double.

"Trevor" may be the funniest play I have seen at Artist's Rep. Artist's Rep is usually at least a little darker in the majority of their choices than, perhaps, Portland Center Stage, and while the idea for the play was gleaned from tragic news stories, most of the humor in "Trevor" is light, which is a nice change of pace, despite my preference for its opposite. Even though the "news story" inspiration is mentioned in the playbill, as well as Jones' careful foreshadowing within the play, we like Trevor so much, the sobering turn comes as far more of a surprise than it should.

This is due to John San Nicholas' performance-to call  it "fully-committed" is a nearly inexcusable understatement-but it's the best I can do.

"Trevor" is the kind of show that will reward you if you can get past the fact that it sounds like it should never, ever, have worked. Let me assure you, it does.

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