We all have our flaws, obsessions or even demons. It’s what makes us, well, us. So what happens when you take stories with these imperfections and have local and national actors read them out loud on stage? The answer is a raw display of human emotion. On Saturday, November 10th, Stories on Stage presented “Fixated,” at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center in Denver. With a unique mix of theater and literature (and a very nice rug), four actors read four stories to an eager audience.
The first tale, “Phone Phone Gun,” by Edward Hamlin, read by local actor Drew Horwitz, tells the story of a little boy at an airport counting the number of phones he sees. Problems arise when the boy is boarding the plane and presses a button to disconnect the jet way to the plane, and blame is placed on an man of African descent named King Adjay. The story portrays how society is quick to judge others, especially those of different skin color.
The next story, “Found Objects,” by Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan, read by local award winning actress Jamie Ann Romero, deals with one woman’s struggle with kleptomania. The story goes in and out of therapy sessions as we learn how Sasha has stolen everything from wallets, bath salts and even a screw driver from a plumber. Never stealing from stores, Sasha only gets a thrill stealing from
people. Changing her voice for the different characters, Romero succeeds in grabbing the audience’s attention from start to finish.
You might know the reader of third story by his infamous role as Uncle Phil on the hit show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” James Avery. Avery performed an intense reading of “Weight,” by John Edgar Wideman, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and Vogue. The tale compared a single mother’s fight trying to raise a family in the midst of poverty, drugs and crime to a weightlifter, who also uses all his/her strength to carry heavy loads. Fighting back tears, Avery did a brilliant job at stepping into the main character who talks about his struggles after the death of his mother.
The show ended with a comical tale of one man’s inability to move on from his ex-lover Leann. In “Life without Leann” by Emmy Award winning Larry Doyle, Drew Hortwitz reads aloud a newsletter dedicated to Leann,which includes everything from arguments over her best features, what her favorite foods are and even a photo contest of Leann’s best pictures. Drew Horwitz, who did the first reading too, proved that he could deliver a serious as well as a funny story.
Stories on Stage is currently celebrating their 12th season of bringing the written word to life. Come witness talented actors as they perfect the ancient art of storytelling. Yes, there was and still is entertainment that doesn’t involve internet, television or your iphone.