Oh, that “Stones in His Pockets” is a sneaky one.
The play, currently on stage at Live Theatre Workshop, will make you laugh. At times really hard. But then it hits you: this isn’t really a comedy.
The subversive little play is about economic hardship, a sort of colonization of Ireland’s County Kerry by Hollywood, despair, and, finally, hope.
Stephen Frankenfield and Keith Wick take on the roles of Jake and Charlie, respectively, as well as a whole slew of other characters, including a Scot and a famous Hollywood actress.
Charlie and Jake are extras in the blockbuster being filmed in their rural Irish village. The extras are exploited and dismissed, tossed aside like bits of trash. But the economy is bad and the work is needed, so people sign on.
We delight as Frankenfield and Wick slip into one character after another, introducing the often funny, always quirky folks in the town and on the set. But when one fired extra, a doped-up young man named Sean, fills his pockets with stones and walks into the river and drowns, the extras revolt. They want to attend the funeral. But the movie-makers, on a deadline and a budget, don’t want to let them off to go.
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Frankenfield and Wick are experts in comedic timing, and they slip into different characters and accents with ease. They use the spare set and a few props to distinguish person and place.
But the pacing of the Rhonda Hallquist-directed piece meant that a play that should have been fast and smooth became clunky.
“Stones in His Pockets,” however, is a thoughtful, funny piece in the hands of two keen actors. A few flaws should not keep you away.
Catch the play, by Marie Jones, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 18 at Live Theatre Workshop, 3322 E. Fort Lowell Road.
Tickets are $17 to $23. Masks are recommended. For more
information, visit livetheatre