After the techno pop fades, we are introduced to unassuming birthday boy Willum (Ken Lay at his finest) and his unrequited love, Tansy (Stephanie Grimley), a teased-hair tease leaving for Washington, D.C. to be a weather girl. Actually, tease, is unfair. She was trying to not be a bimbette. Tansy actually totally loves Willum, but she doesn't want to lead him on before she books it to her dream job. At least, that's what we can deduce from the dialog... Nevertheless, Lay handles the emotional heavy-lifting like a boss.
All the while Axel, Willum's homeboy, exasperates over the star-crossed couple's inability to make it happen. Axel is played by a deliciously acerbic Christopher Diehl, who cherishes every well-timed dis, but hits his stride during the physical comedy bits, when the ill-fated birthday party devolves into a hot, gauche-tastic mess.
That mess, of course, is the work of a the namesake nerd, Rick, a whirling, Tasmanian Devil of ill-manners, who—in one week—wreaks enough havoc to make Willum reconsider the direction of his life. Bruce Hutchins brings Rick to fantabulous life. Imagine the outspoken lovechild of The Office's Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott. Yeah, that noid. Or schweet, depending on your POV.
—even then, the cast let the ultra-awkwardness play out, without playing it out. By holding back, they didn't whiff it. And that made me want to say "Cowabunga!"
The set, designed by Hutchins and Paul Larson, was among the best I've seen at CCT, withstanding the constant action and door-slamming without so much as a wobble. The awesome costumes looked like someone barfed a bag of Skittles. But, hey, it was the 80's. That's how the coolest of da cool rolled back then.
Yeah, so, don't—like—even bother to go see this play... Psych!
LA theater reviews by LA Theater Critic.