Monday, March 2, 2015

Seven Ways to Get There

from left: Kirsten Potter, Bob Williams, Bradford Farwell, Jim Lapan, James DeVita, Ty Boice, Charles Leggett and Darragh Kennan. Photo by Truman Buffett.

from left: James DeVita, Kirsten Potter, Ty Boice and Bob Williams. Photo by Truman Buffett.

lifting Peter (Charles Leggett) in trust fall. Photo by Truman Buffett.

Playwright Bryan Willis has outdone himself with his new play Seven Ways to Get There now playing at ACT’s Allen Theatre in Seattle. Co-written by Dwayne J. Clark, the play is based on Clark’s experience some 16 years ago when he took part in men’s therapy group.
Seven men come together under the guidance of therapist Michelle (Kirsten Potter) for raucous group therapy sessions—the “seven ways” of the title referring to the paths each take to reach their goals. The sessions change them all, but not necessarily all for the better.
Vince (Ty Boice) is a tall, handsome and, at first, silent man whose problem seems to be that women want to make love to him. He says he’s had sex with a thousand women, perhaps as many as two thousand. And apparently he gets little pleasure out of it.
Nick (James DeVita) is filthy rich, arrogant, and in counseling only because his wife has threatened to divorce him if he doesn’t get help.
Also having wife problems is Mark (Bradford Farwell), a less-than-successful artist who believes his wife is having an affair with her rock climbing instructor.
Anthony (Darragh Kennan) has a severe enough anger management problem that he has been court ordered to therapy.
Richard (Jim Lapan) is a happy-go-lucky fellow who is addicted to porn. He doesn’t want to cure his addiction, he wants to form a porn co-op with the guys in the group.
Peter (Charles Leggett) prays a lot.
Mel (Bob Williams) says he hasn’t decided yet why he is in therapy and he can’t decide anything.
And the therapist, Michelle, has a hard time keeping the group from getting totally out of control.
Seven Ways to Get There deals with some tough stuff and is also outrageously funny. The clashes between these seven men and their therapist are brilliantly written. Scenes such as when the men suddenly break out in dance and when Richard points out that it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day are genius.
Director John Langs does a masterful job with pacing and blocking. The pace is often furious, but interjected with moments of quiet and often uncomfortable hesitations that make it all feel natural.
The in-the-round configuration of the Allen Theatre is like the Roman Coliseum with the audience looking down into the pit of a gladiator battle, which in many ways is what’s happening on stage as these seven gladiators battle their demons and each other. It is an adult-only comic tragedy, not recommended for children younger than 14.
Seven Ways to Get There runs through March 15 at ACT's Allen Theatre with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It was my first time seeing a play at the ACT theatre. The production was super amazing, hit so close to home, funny, emotional, true to life's problems today. I absolutely loved every moment of it. I can't wait to see more acts there.