Comedy mystifies at Pier One
• Dead man’s cell phone ensnares curious stranger
By Randi Somers
HOMER TRIBUNE/Randi Somers - While Gordon (Dylan Carter) sits dead in a cafe, a stranger, Jean, (Bailey Richards), bothered by his ringing cell phone, answers and gets involved in his life on Earth and on “the other side.”
A man sits dead at a table in a diner.
When his cell phone rings incessantly, bothering a stranger at a nearby table, she answers it and is drawn into his life and death.
“After you’re gone, how will you be remembered?” is the main question addressed in Sarah Ruhl’s grim comedy, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” which plays at Pier One Theatre through the next three weekends. Ruhl explores that question by entrusting the memory of a not-so-dearly departed man, played by Dylan Carter, to a woman he never met. Bailey Richards plays the central character, Jean.
Seeing a dead man at a nearby table might prompt a normal stranger to shout desperately into the phone for an ambulance, which she does. But then, she inadvertently drops the phone into her purse, leading her into unexpected complications. To her perverse enjoyment, she finds that merely being the voice on the receiving end of the dead man’s calls gives her instant access to the world he left behind. Discovering his bizarre business starts her on an odyssey that leads to people in his inner circle as well as a destination she would rather not have visited. For a character who begins the play as a corpse, this guy has a lot to say about the nature of true love and life beyond death.
Continuing to answer his phone, Jean becomes involved with other people in his life; his mother, Harriet (Margaret Quarton), brother Dwight (Emerson Quarton), widow Hermia (Leeza Maestre) and a friend, played by Maria Fourier.
Marc Oliver, another young Pier One star, directs the play.
“I learned about the play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival last year and it sounded interesting,” Oliver said. “I didn’t see it. If I had, it might have influenced my perception of how it should be done. But I read it, liked it, pitched it to Lance and he said ‘go for it.’”
This is Oliver’s second year directing and his third production. Last year he directed “Mixed Nuts” and “Hit and Run.”
On the opening weekend, the play does not perform on Thursday, but it does the two following weekends. On the final weekend, it does not perform on Sunday. The play contains language and mature themes, and parental guidance is suggested.
Dead Man’s Cell Phone
When: Pier One Theatre
Where: July 9-11, 15-18, 22-24,
8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
7:30 p.m. Sundays and Thursdays
Tickets: $14, available in advance form Etude Studio and The Homer Bookstore, or by calling Pier One at 235-7333
More info: www.pieronetheate.org
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Posted by Newsroom
on Jul 7th, 2010 and filed under Entertainment
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