@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
 

Beyond Therapy

by Christopher Durang, directed by Bradd Howard

  • Bob (played by Brandon Brown), Prudence (played by Britney Bunker), and Bruce (played by Eric Young)
  • Bruce (played by Eric Young), and Charlotte (played by Margie Eller)
  • Bruce (played by Eric Young), and Charlotte (played by Margie Eller)
  • Bruce (played by Eric Young), Bob (played by Brandon Brown) and Prudence (played by Britney Bunker)
  • Charlotte (played by Margie Eller)
  • Prudence (played by Britney Bunker), Charlotte (played by Margie Eller), Andrew (played by Mike Cook), Stuart (played by Patrick Payne), Bruce (played by Eric Young), and Bob (played by Brandon Brown)

Mar 01-Mar 10, 2002

FRI MAR 1,8 | 8:00 PM
SAT MAR 2,9 | 8:00 PM
SUN MAR 3,10 | 2:30 PM
THUR MAR 7 | 7:00 PM

Description

Credits

Director

Reviews

Help yourself, see 'Beyond Therapy'
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Sun News [Friday, March 1, 2002 C-1]

If you're feeling a little stir crazy or your therapist is driving you up the wall, No Strings Theatre may have the cure. Its latest production, "Beyond Therapy," lampoons psychiatrists, their patients and human relationships in general. The cast includes some of the areas best comedic actors, and Christopher Durang's script is replete with snappy, laugh-inducing dialogue.

Britney Bunker plays Prudence, a beautiful but very insecure young woman. Bunker, who first ventured onto the stage just a few years ago, has developed into a fine actress whose credits include not only No Strings and Las Cruces Community Theater productions but Shakespeare on the rocks, El Paso's annual Shakespeare festival. Romantic comedy is her strength, and she shines as Prudence.
Eric Young plays Bruce, her new love interest, and the two have a playful sort of chemistry that works well with the scenarios. Bruce has been in a long-term same-sex relationship with Bob and has decided he's bisexual and has been dating women via the personal ads. Young's killer smile and natural charm make the whole situation quite believable.
Enter the professionals.
Patrick Payne seems to really enjoy his role as Stuart, Prudence's womanizing therapist, and turns in a top-flight performance just minutes after he plays very different roles in LCCT's One Act Play Festival, which is showing just up the block. Payne performs in "This is a Chair," which opens at 7 p.m., then dashes to the Black Box for "Beyond Therapy," which opens at 8 p.m. That's what you called dedicated - or crazy.
Bruce's flighty, often disoriented therapist, Charlotte, is played by Margie Eller, who has entertained local audiences in many productions, her most memorable being the role of Miss Tweed, the Miss Marple-like character in "Something's Afoot" at LCCT. Eller's Charlotte is loony and likable.
The always hilarious Brandon Brown plays Bruce's other lover, who is not happy with Bruce's decision to explore other options. Brown does petulance to perfection and works well with both Young and Bunker. They make an unbeatable comedic trio.
Mike Cook makes the most of his supporting role as Andrew, the waiter.
Though Durang's dysfunctional characters may seem absurd and over-the-top at times, many people will identify with their problems - and that's what makes this play work. Everyone has experienced loneliness at one time or another.
First-rate acting and director Bradd Howard's skill at casting and getting the best from his actors makes this a show worth watching. It does contain language and subject matter that may be offensive to some people and it is not suitable for children.
"Beyond Therapy" continues through March 10 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Thursdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 regular and $6 for students and seniors over 65, and all seats Thursdays are $5. Reservations are recommended and may be made by phone (505) 523-1223

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