Last Friday evening, I went to see the latest production at the Temple Theatre – Stones in His Pockets, starring Michael Brocki and Derrick Ivey. It is the story of the extras, crew, and main star in a movie being shot in Ireland. The primary story is of the relationships of the extras and a young man who has fallen on hard times, was rejected in his attempt to obtain a job as an extra on the movie, and subsequently kills himself by putting stones in his pockets and walking into the lake. But, it isn’t all that gloomy – although the suicide is an important aspect, it doesn’t put a damper on the feel of the story. It is funny, touching, and emotional.
The hook and amazing part of this production is that there are over a dozen characters who are both male and female, but only TWO actors who are both men! And the real kicker? They never leave the stage or change costumes (except for a few minor accessories or props) at any time during the production!!! Sound confusing? Well, you’d think so, but it really wasn’t!!! I admit, it took me about 5 minutes or so to “get it”. At first, I thought it was hard to follow and I was working way too hard to figure out what in the world was going on. But, once they made it through the characters and started to go back and forth between them, it all came together and was so obvious!
Brocki and Ivey did an amazing job of making sure we knew exactly which character they were portraying at any given time. They would be one character and then spin around or change positions and suddenly they were another character! The expressions, mannerisms, voices, and even dialects of each character were so distinctive, you knew the second they “transformed” who they were! It takes a special talent to be able to pull this off and make it totally believable and Brocki and Ivey both have that talent – BIG TIME!!! They were absolutely successful in making me “see” each distinct character and visualize exactly what they look like! I was mesmerized!
I always enjoy being at the Temple Theatre and am rarely disappointed. Granted, some shows are better than others, but that’s natural. This was definitely among the better shows I’ve seen. I really enjoyed it. Today is the last show of this run. If you haven’t already seen it and are looking for something to do this afternoon, I recommend you give this a try!