It ain’t dinner theater.
“TRIVIAL PURSUITS” is a 3-act, 4-character, 1-set play that asks: “How much can an audience learn about a bunch of guys who are sitting around a table playing a board game?” Because that’s about the only action taking place on stage.
Unless you count the struggle for Timmy’s soul.
TIMMY is the timid host of this week’s gathering, which includes buddies TOM, the skirt-chaser; ROD, the logic-monger; and BEAR, the large and shambling animal – four vertices of a box called “maleness”. And at the center of this box is a question, a single thin story thread upon which hangs pages of character revelation like sheets upon a clothesline: Will Timmy grasp his last chance at salvation, saving himself from the hollow fate of his fellows by seeking the not-so-subtly-named Hope?
Because, mostly, “Trivial Pursuits” is about girls. Or, rather, the attitude of Timmy’s counterparts toward girls. Each (TOM, ROD, BEAR) is given a devoted ACT and a particular P.O.V. to present, all while playing a sometimes metaphorical game. They use a number of time-proven male methods to get their points across. They eat chips. They drink beer. They cheat. They deliver monologues in the john. They draw pictures. In short, they cover every angle of their favorite topic from the juvenile to the sobering to the downright offensive.
With the final goal? To reach out and touch each member of the audience with those twin masks of the theater, laughter and tears.
And possibly discomfort.
So, please: No dining allowed.