Among the beauties of small, earthy, edgy theater is that sometimes it misses the mark with me. I can't blame the failure of W. David Hancock's "Booth" to connect on the writing, Todd Ristau's direction or some marvelous acing by Linsee Lewis, Brian Turner and Chad Runyon. This one never had a chance with me and when the cast lit up two cigarettes at the same time in a small room, I couldn't stay a minute longer. The discomfort of the play was suddenly overwhelmed by the allergy to cigarette smoke (which, I have been assured, will be "substantially reduced" in future performances).
I don't know if it's fair for me to even mention "Booth," but I will because I want the adventurous among you (and those without an allergy to cigarette smoke) to see it. This one has so much going on simultaneously that it is a challenge to follow. Characters are speaking while their additional thoughts or backstory or side story is showing on a screen above their heads. You have to read that part.
Effectively, we have three thoroughly unattractive characters (a card dealer, ex-cop and pre-op transsexual hooker) occupying a restaurant booth and plotting all manner of foul deeds while talking in wretched detail about their wasted lives. Mary Poppins will not save you here.
Still, this is experimental theater and this is an experiment. I saw a lot of very real interest in the room from others attending. That's the beauty of theater, especially at this level. It has room for all of us, even though on occasion it misses for each of us. While it hits for others.
" Booth" runs March 23-April 3 with tickets running $20 at the door and $15 in advance. Students, old people and troops are $12. You can find out more here.