Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cardigan by Trey Deason, Purple Crayon Theatre at FF Long Fringe, January 20 - 29

Cardigan by Trey Deason

Maybe a playwright shouldn't act in his own play. Unless, of course, he's one of those comedy yuksters who speaks directly to the audience and makes smartass observations about his own life exeriences and surroundings.

Trey Deason, the playwright, plays the lead character in Cardigan, a piece expanded from a well-received 2010 Short Fringe offering. His assumption of that identity may be disconcerting to those who have run into him in so-called real life.

Deason is reticent, polite and quiet almost to a fault, at least with those whom he doesn't know well. As Edgar Cardigan, writer, arriving to lecture to us for a class in creative writing, he's emphatic, dismissive, vulgar and as hopped-up as if he were on speed. One is tempted to suppose that this is a portrait of Deason's Evil Twin, a sort of exercise in personal psychodrama. The writer is writing about a writer who is quickly revealed as a compulsive fabricator, and most of what follows is demonstration both of misogyny and misanthropy.

Perhaps director Rudy Ramirez shouldn't have allowed Cardigan to have have snarled so quickly and viciously at Angelia Davis, the actress planted in the audience to play the student. Perhaps Deason should have done breathing exercises so that his character would be less twitchy at the start. Or perhaps just have entrusted the role to another actor.

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