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None Too Fragile opens with new play

10/18/2012 - West Side Leader
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By David Ritchey

MERRIMAN VALLEY — The good news is the None Too Fragile Theater company is back in Akron, producing plays and challenging audiences.

The new theater space is in Pub Bricco in Merriman Valley at 1835 Merriman Road.

The company is producing a relatively new play, “On An Average Day,” by John Kolvenback.

The story is set in a kitchen in upstate New York. The kitchen is crowded with stacks of newspapers, which cover the stove, cabinets and flow into stacks on the floor. The refrigerator is so dirty that when a character dares place a hand in the refrigerator for a beer, he is overcome by the stench. The shower, in the bathroom next door to the kitchen, runs when it wants to run, without being turned on by the resident.

Bob (Sean Derry) lives in the house with this cluttered, dirty kitchen and mind-of-its-own shower. Bob seems at the end of his life — he’s depressed, truly unhappy and desperately in need of companionship.

Jack (Mark Mayo), Bob’s brother, stops by for a visit. Jack is married and has children, yet his life seems to be in no better shape than his brother’s.

The visit of these two men is the subject of “On An Average Day.”

Typical of most plays, which feature siblings, the two men talk about their childhoods and what is true and what is false about their lives. They discuss and fight about what happened and didn’t really happen. Their father seems to be the source of the pain they both feel as adults.

Jack has brought a pistol to the visit. He’s stashed it in what Bob thinks is a sandwich bag. Of course when Bob becomes hungry, he finds the pistol and thinks Jack plans to kill him. Maybe Jack does plan to let Bob die. He leaves the pistol for the mentally unstable Bob.

Derry continues to be one of the best actors in this area. Playing Bob allows him to show a range of emotions not often seen on local stages. Mayo has developed as an actor and holds his own on the stage with Derry. Their performances are worth the trip to this new theater space.

“On An Average Day” continues through Oct. 20. For ticket information, call 330-671-4563.

David Ritchey has a Ph.D. in communications and is a professor of communications at The University of Akron. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.

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