Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013

Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

The Playhouse’s ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ Multitasks Like a Smartphone

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

Hermia (Meredith Bell Alvarez) confronts Jean (Sarah Fisch) over her dead husband’s cell phone

Photo: , License: N/A

Matthew Byron Cassi and Fisch


To compete with a cell phone whose irritating ring interrupts key scenes, director Andrew Thornton, who has himself graced the stage of the Cellar Theater with leading roles in Red and Wittenberg, found a capable cast to answer the call. As Gordon, Matthew Byron Cassi is a competent corpse, but he also delivers a robust monologue to start the second act. As his mother, Harriet, Kathleen Couser is elegant, imperious and determined “to mourn him until the day I die.” Meredith Bell Alvarez plays Gordon’s bitter, resentful widow Hermia, and Marisa Varela, his sexy, vain mistress, is convincing when she advises frumpy Jean: “A beautiful woman should walk into a room thinking, ‘I am beautiful, and I know how to walk.’” As Gordon’s younger brother Dwight, E.J. Roberts is a soulful wimp.

“You’re very comforting,” Harriet Gottlieb tells Jean, the bearer of her son’s cell phone, “like a small casserole.” Hermia calls her “a strange duck.” Sharing the stage throughout with a dead man’s active phone, Sarah Fisch’s Jean is unassuming and gauche (Fisch is a frequent contributor to the Current and a former arts and culture editor here). She appalls her hostess by hiccuping at a formal family dinner. Though she declares herself a vegetarian (and Dwight obliges by serving her caramel popcorn as an entree), she later craves a ribeye steak. The romance that suddenly blossoms between her and Dwight seems less a natural development in the plot than the playwright’s fanciful diktat. The awkwardness of Fisch’s Jean is consistent with the discomfort all the self-absorbed characters exhibit in speaking to one another, but also with the way varied parts of the play fail to gel.

A kind of pseudo-Sartrean vision of Hell might better belong in another play. As everything converges to culminate in a sappy demonstration of how love conquers all, the cell phone at last goes silent. We might have benefited from another interruption.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone

$10-$25
8pm Fri-Sat, 3pm & 8pm Sun
The Playhouse–Cellar Theater
800 W Ashby
(210) 733-7258
theplayhousesa.org
Through June 1

Recently in Arts & Culture
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus