Everyone has a story…and some beautiful tales are woven and shared in two original pieces at the Write Act: Bridge, a three act play and ‘Roid Rage, a comic monologue. ‘Roid Rage is a comedic, enthralling rant of an athlete, overly full of himself (James Black), who thinks he’s impervious to the world, and ends up succumbing to his own egomania, from his abuse of steroids. Despite his bravado and machismo, he falls hard and fast, as in Shakespeare’s profound poetry — “Pride goeth before a fall.”
Willard Manus’s Bridge introduces people literally on the verge of life and death. All are pathetic lost souls, rich with emotions, treading over troubled waters. Jerry Boyd (musician, sage) is their saving grace, an “angel of death,” as it were, with tons of baggage himself. As he meets a tableau of characters contemplating suicide, even he, with all his strength and wisdom, is dealt a horrible blow. Yet, with the flotsam and jetsam of life, he is like a solid tree against the wind, the silver moon shining through the clouds.
The jazzy musical interlude, with the wailing saxophone, is a surreal and integral part of the show; it echoes the underlying melancholy and pathos. The entire play centers on the fact that so many lives hang by a thread, and can easily be severed by the cowardly act of suicide. Troubled waters….troubled souls…along the mighty Williamsburg Bridge — a symbol of beauty, yet also a “jumping off place,” literally, where people can choose to jump to their death, or climb back into the fray.
Both performances reveal the frailty and inner strength of the human species — despite all the incredible odds we face.
‘Roid Rage & Bridge: An Original Evening of Plays runs through July and August at the Write Act Repertory. For ticket information, visit www.writeactrep.org.