Bright Colors and Bold Patterns
Reviewed by Deborah Klugman
Celebration Theatre at The Lex
Through November 14
Humor is subjective.
In this case the show in question is writer/performer Drew Droege’s Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, directed by Michael Urie at the Celebration Theatre. Urie wowed L.A. audiences in Buyer & Cellar at the Ahmanson in 2014. Droege is a comedian known on the Internet for his drag impersonations of Chloe Sevigny.
Here Droege plays Gerry, a 30-something single gay man who’s in Palm Springs to attend the marriage of a long time friend. The bright colors and bold patterns of the title refer to a proscription of such on the garb of guests by one of the prospective newly-marrieds, Brennan — a person too conservative and uptight for the say-whatever-comes-to-your-mind Gerry’s taste. Gerry’s friend is the other half of the happy couple, Josh.
Gerry’s innuendo-laden monologue takes place poolside, a day or two prior to the wedding. His (unseen by us) sunbathing companions are Duane, a former lover and roommate in Washington Heights from back-in-the-day, and Duane’s current boyfriend, a good-looking 23-year-old architect, Mac. Later, a guy named Neal shows up, someone Gerry dislikes who also dislikes him. The snide comments fly.
The problem is, none of these other characters he’s talking to ever fully emerge as people, in colorful detail (to possibly make for an interesting story), nor is there any secret we learn about Gerry or any self-realization that brings purpose to his ramblings. Meanwhile, his intake goes from beer to margaritas to cocaine, his antics becoming progressively more unrestrained while continuing to lack substance.
Instead, the comedy is invested in his unapologetic self-infatuation, his outrageous acting out, rather than any cleverness in words or ideas. The main idea of the piece seems to be Gerry’s preoccupation with the reality that some of his friends are getting married and settling down, while he remains unattached and emotionally at loose ends. It’s the old tick-tick-tick of the clock obsession that afflicts most of us at one time or another. Next.
But — some people did laugh, and heartily. On the other hand, two men a couple of seats down from me watched with poker faces, as I did.
Humor is subjective.
Celebration Theatre at the Lex, 6760 Lexington Avenue, Hollywood; Mon., 8 p.m., through November 14. www.celebrationtheatre.com or (323) 957-1884 Running tome :70 minutes with no intermission.