On the Spot Theatre Company presents THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER THING Review: A spirited ensemble performs a trio of one acts

Editor’s Note: Picture This Post previously interviewed actor Marla Seidell. Read the full interview here- Marla Seidell Interview – Preview of On the Spot Theatre Company’s THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER THING

On the Spot Theatre Company presents a series of one acts by Mike Brayndick

Fragments From the Permanent Collection

The first of the one acts is set in the Art Institute of Chicago. It opens with various voice overs of noisy patrons in the museum and we see Albert (a dynamic Baird Brutscher), a lonely astronomer, watching Karen (Marla Seidell), a young woman, enjoying popcorn while admiring the art and her fellow museum-goers.  Albert works up the courage to approach Karen and tells her he has been watching her for a while. The two get to know each other and search for a connection. As their story unfolds it is interrupted by various couples at a variety of stages in their relationship (all played by Regina Barry and Austin Cornett). While Karen and Albert try to connect, we see the various paths their relationship could take. For this writer, however, the interludes were not effective at enhancing the act and perhaps disrupted the flow of the story of the main relationship.

On The Spot Theatre Company THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER THING
Austin Cornett, Regina Barry, Baird Brutscher, and Marla Seidell Photo by: Lisa Lennington via Thorpedo Productions

Only You Could Think That

In the next one act, we follow a frustrated consultant, Debra (a very funny Seidell), into a philosophical café run by Mackenzie (Barry). This is not your typical café as it serves philosophical ideas rather than coffee. As this amusing and absurdist act progresses we learn that Debra’s business, Mountain out of Mole Hills, helps turn small problems into much larger ones. Mac and Debra grow closer as they learn more about each other and ponder their place in the world over the course of several philosophical arguments.  Although this writer will admit some of it went over her head, the act shows a budding, sweet relationship.

That is That

For the final of the one acts we find ourselves at a rehearsal of an incredibly dramatic theatre troupe. It is a fast paced, high energy act that uses heightened language to explore relationship dynamics with the full ensemble. We get to see an amusing play within a play. This piece explores relationships both on and off stage in a rapid-fire pace. While the heightened language and emotional intensity worked very well for the most part, it did at moments miss the mark for this writer.

This, That, and The Other Thing is ideal for those who enjoy philosophical, off beat works. Not great for those who like more traditional, less dense theatre.

Creative Team: Pat Henderson, Emma Brayndick, Alvaro Ledesma, Cherish L. Parker, Steve Hill, & Andrew Thorp

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED

Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago

When:

Thru April 28, 2016
Saturdays 2:30 PM

Where:

Berger Park Coach House Theatre
6205 N. Sheridan Rd. Chicago

Tickets:

$15

For tickets visit the Brown Paper Tickets website or call 800 838 3006.
Tickets are also available at the theater for cash at the door.

Photo Credit:

Lisa Lennington via Thorpedo Productions

Photo: Brian McConkey

About the Author

Taryn Smith graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago's BFA Performance program in 2011. After graduating, she co-founded Realize Theatre Group and served as Executive Director for the company.  She has filled numerous roles while with RTG both on and off stage including making her playwriting debut with her play America, Inc . She has worked as a stage manage, designer, director, and actor. Outside of the theatre world, Taryn is a licensed massage therapist.

Click here to read more Picture this Post stories by Taryn Smith.

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