Monday, February 6, 2012

Precious Little Talent by Ella Hickson, Capital T Theatre, January 25 - February 11

Precious Little Talent Ella Hickson Capital T Theatre

Capital T Theatre does a graceful and unexpected waltz step with Ella Hickson's Precious Little Talent.

Mark Pickell and friends at Capital T have established a strong, edgy style in their stagings, one that fits very well with the karma of their frequent host venue the Hyde Park Theatre. They've presented works by such as Tracy Letts, Sam Shepard, Mickle Maher, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, David Shinn -- stories of trailer trash, down-and-outers, eccentrics and the lonely abandoned, leaving a strong taste in mouth and memory. Austin's artists and young professionals have avidly followed their offerings; nominations and awards from the B. Iden Payne theatre awards have further authenticated their choices, skill and talents. Capital T has a good eye for scripts and a flair in staging them.

Ella Hickson's three-character one-act is a romantic comedy set in a New York that could be urban USA anywhere. She sets Joey (Josephine), a modern English Miss Prim, against Sam, a kinda goofy 19-year-old guy working as a home care companion. In the opening scene the two meet by chance on a rooftop, then without many words exchanged they wind up running through the nighttime streets and riding the subway for hours on end. They say very little to one another. Sam tells us about it first, re-enacting their first odd moments together; Joey later gives us her version. It's sweet, it's momentary exuberance and initially it comes to not much at all.

Though neither knows it then, Sam's employer George is the nexus. Perhaps in his mid-fifties, George is fretful and sharp with Sam, trying to send him away early one day and the next morning telling him to clear out. There could be a touch of an ethical dilemma for Sam here -- if your job is to humor your employer, to keep his household furnished and to generally keep him in touch with the day to day, what happens when he wants to discharge you? Joey Banks as Sam has a simple grin and just doesn't let it bother him.

And then out of the bedroom walks that cute girl from last night.

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