Thoughts of beer, starry nights, and acts of drunken rage are not plenty of people’s idea of a fun night. However, James Mclure’s theatre play “Lone Star,” directed by Joe John Battista, created a visual that could change anyone’s mind of an ideal night with the humor and engaging acting skills.
Entering the small, yet surprisingly comfortable 13th Repertory Theatre, which seats about 65-70 people and is perfect in creating a warming and soothing environment around the audience. The stage was littered with crumbled papers, haystacks, beer bottles, graffiti-covered walls, a large flag of Texas, and lights to give off the illusion of a star-filled sky. You’ll have feeling that you’re no longer in New York, but standing in the “Lone Star State.”
But before the show, The Chalks rocked the stage. They kept the audience captivated with songs, quizzes, and challenges that got everyone involved. I had the pleasure of being quizzed on whether or not I was truly “American” and proved my citizenship. Their sequins outfits, talent with several different instruments and amazing vocal abilities will keep your eyes locked onto the stage will intrigue. Even if you’re not a fan of Southern America, Kathryn Markey (Judelle Chalk), Mary Brienza (Judeen Chalk), and Leenya Rideout (Belva Chalk) definitely will have you considering giving it a chance. Their performance was a great choice for the first half of the production.
The second half of the production was “Lone Star” and there certainly wasn’t a letdown. The actors were able to make the characters believable enough to transform the stage into the back of Angel’s Bar in Maynard, Texas. Reading the script and watching the scenes being played out in the theatre made the experience better in every way. Matt de Rogatis (Roy), Chris Loupos (Ray), and Michael Villastrigo (Cletis) were all able to continuously keep the crowd laughing, focused, and interested in the story being told.
While the entire cast was solid, Rogatis gave a passionate performance. He was able to channel the thoughts and emotions of an army veteran who comes back to his small-town and discover everything around him has changed, except for his favorite bar and the scenery behind it with a lot of his all-time favorite beers, Lone Star Beer. His ability to display a believable and relatable alcoholic redneck Vietnam veteran deserves numerous amounts of praise.
A production such as “Lone Star” would not be something many urban 20-somethings would usually look forward to, mainly due to the setting. However, the talent, humor, and passion that flowed through each minute of it was undeniably remarkable. It was definitely entertainment that would keep anyone’s eyes and ears glued to the front stage.