An Evening With Mr. Johnson
By Michael A. Matteo
Directed by Winnie Wenglewick
With Henry Gibson, Wes Imlay, and Crystal Nezgoda
Dangerous Theatre, Sanford, FL
No, I’m not stuttering. There are two versions of this script: the gay one I covered last week, and this more traditional hetrosexual production. Quick summary: Ed (Gibson) has a terrible love life; as soon as he finds Miss Nottobad, he’s drawn to Miss Evenbetter. Why is this? His Little Head (Imlay) is smarter than his big head. The pair debate maleness in the most brutal terms, and occasionally Mr. Imlay disappears and comes in through another door as Mom, a guilt inducing Jewish mother jonesing for grand kids. Tonight Ms. Nottobad, Donna (Nezgoda) is willing to give Ed one more chance even after he porked her best friend on Christmas Eve at a family party on the pile of coats in the bed room. There are SO many levels of guilt here, I can’t begin to count. And what was the root cause of this failure of romance? Donna was holding back; her frigid for life ploy was actually designed to protect Ed from her nuclear grade vaginal powers. And odd strategy, if you ask me.
The scene stealer here was Mr. Imlay. even as he over ran his own lines from time to time; he had the in your face presence a good penis actor needs. Mr. Gibson was fine, he just kept quiets as Mr. Imlay pushed him around. Only when Imlay was kryptonited by a silk caftan could Gibson stretch as an actor. Ms. Nezgoda (a new comer to Central Florida) seemed stern and punitive; but once she decided to let it all out, she and her feminine side seemed a bit bipolar. The two scripts are largely the same, some window dressing and a few specific sexual terms are the main differences. This show is running up at the newly refitted Dangerous Theater in Sanford, and while some paint and powder is still missing this is a solid performance space with good acoustics and comfy chairs. Never overlook seat comfort; it’s almost as important as a good script in the long run.
For more information on Dangerous Theater, please visit http://www.dangeroustheatre.com/ or https://dangerous-theatre-sanford.ticketleap.com/