You can go with ‘This’…

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‘This’ will have its last two performances Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Courtesy of SMU Media)

 

…Or you can go with that.

As someone who is slowly approaching quarter age, I know one thing: I don’t want to be middle aged. You could say I’m on the cusp of a quarter-life crisis.

Instead of buying a hot rod and cheating on my wife, I want to play with legos and watch Disney Channel.

Because of that, “This” spoke to me. But what is “This” exactly?

“This” – a play by Melissa James Gibson – is a play that explores middle-age, marital disappointment and latent sexual attraction (especially forbidden latent sexual attraction). Directed by senior Sarah Hamilton, the show (part of the three plays in the “Rep”) stars two MFA students and three BFA students.

Throughout the course of the performance, four friends react to their disappointing lives, engage in extra-marital affairs and drink. A lot.

The show, lively, eminently watchable and punchy with the dialogue, was entertaining and cut into sizeable vignettes to keep up the pace.

My criticism: certain roles were overacted; in particular the roles played by MFA performers. The histrionics were on full display Wednesday night, and the swinging arms and bellowing tears became tiresome.

Senior theatre student Steven Smith largely carried the performance with his electric portrayal of a gay middle-aged man named Alan with an eidetic memory. Smith’s comedic timing is impeccable, but his ability to hit the dramatic notes is just as powerful – a contrast which perfectly embodies the thematic absurdity of the show and ultimately life.

 

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