By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
Arriving like crumpled up dispatches from the war zone of broken hearts, “[sic]” spreads out across the stage of Live Theatre Workshop, resembling nothing so much as a series of skirmishes over tattered territory and a call to “fix bayonets!”
In the program notes, director Maryann Green describes “[sic]” as “a play with just the right amount of heart, cynicism, humor and peculiarity.” Especially peculiarity, I might add.
To tell the truth, this play by Melissa James Gibson deserves a better title. Maybe something like “Waiting For Monty Python” or “The Incredible Lightness of Non Sequitor.” But maybe that last one is just as bad as “[sic]”.
Among publishers of the printed word, [sic] is a Latin acronym that indicates the preceding is a phrase as it is intended to appear – regardless of any commonly accepted rules of grammar, logic or common sense.
Which certainly describes the playwright's intent...to represent the tangled desires and defensive tactics of three losers in their late 20s who are all single, living in side by side by side flats of a down at the heels apartment building.
Even though not much is happening at the moment, nearly all their adult lives are stretching out before them. Virtually anything could happen, and some of it will. This is the suspense that keeps everyone hanging on.
Theo (Steve Wood) hopes it will happen to him. Even though he is geeky to the hilt, Theo's impossible dreams include Babette (Samantha Cormier) who lives just two doors down the hall, near one of those old-fashioned windows you can actually slide open and closed.
Babette is a writer described as being an expert in some obscure field nobody else knows anything about. She's always trying to find more money to finish her book.
Theo's most prized possession is a small, battery powered keyboard on which he is composing theme music for an amusement park ride.
In the middle apartment lives Frank (Matthew C. Copley), a fragile soul whose grip on reality is even more tenuous. He's also gay, and suffering through the early stages of heartbreak.
Even more poignant is Frank's conviction he was meant to be an auctioneer. You know, like the tobacco auctioneers with that rumbling chant nobody can understand.
Frank is always practicing tongue twister phrases to limber up his powers of pronunciation so when he gets to auctioneer school in Kansas City, he'll be ready.
But this background is just the texture, the flavor, the wind direction from which these three characters meet their daily challenges.
Structurally, the play is a string of scenes presented without intermission, reminiscent of “Seinfeld” in that there is not a plot so much as an atmosphere, a pastiche of innocence and weariness.
All three actors are LTW favorites, accomplished professionals who know from the inside of their own lives the same longing for some sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
"[sic]” runs through Oct. 1 with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, at Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. Tickets are $20, with discounts available. For details and reservations, 327-4242, or visit livetheatreworkshop.org