Saturday, February 14, 2009
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found
Charlie (Cody Nickel) is a 28 year-old, stressed-out ad guy on the verge of a major breakdown. The play opens on Charlie in the London Underground lost and found, he has just awoken from a black-out and is trying to piece together what has happened to him. As the story unfolds we find out his mother has just died, he owes his drug dealer a lot of money and he is about to get done for embezzlement by the company he works for. All of this sets us up nicely for the title of the play, How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found.
As a substantially older ad guy who has sometimes fantasized about getting away from it all, this show seemed like a possible how-to guide. In a way it is, but in a much larger way it is a warning that there are no easy answers. It also raises interesting questions about identity and how easily we could loose or change it. I couldn't help thinking about all those folks in New Orleans. If your house was washed away and all the government offices full of birth certificates and drivers licences were washed away, how would you prove who you are?
If you go see this play, get there early and sit up close. Also be prepared to forgive some lapses in the British accents.
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found is playing January 27-March 22 in the Ellyn Bye Studio at Portland Center Stage. It was written by Fin Kennedy and directed by Rose Riordan. It runs about 2 hours with one intermission.