Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Runt of the Litter

Way the hell over on the west side - 37th and 11th Ave - - who knew there was even a theater there? Well there is - 37 Arts - a great big space - theaters, rehearsal space, offices and performance rooms, you name it! A find, all in itself! Toss in a rockin' hot ex-jock putting on a one man show and I'm pumped up for it!

This play, Runt of the Litter, was originally performed (to great accolades) in 2002 at MCC Theater and is being brought back around for another go-round this year. It's the semi-autobiographical (i guess that means that most of it is true, but some of it is made up) story of 1980's Houston Oiler's safety Bo Eason and the life-long rivalry he had with his older brother (also a professional football player). Says in the playbill he left football to pursue an acting dream. And so he did. As the title suggests - Bo was always the "runt" and his brother always the "golden child" or so the story goes. Along with this comes all the "I was always out to beat him" and "Always out to prove myself better than him" stuff.
Fictional character Jack Henry tells us the story from the locker room just before he and his brother would oppose each other (for the first time) on the gridiron at the Superbowl. Throw in tales of the father who fueled the whole battle and the mother who gave up alcohol only to watch her sons play football and live their dreams. I think you know where this is going.
Not being much of a sports fan, it figures that I'd be the one to get thrown the football during the show's opening. "Hold on to this for me, would ya?", he says as he tosses me the ball. I was sitting in the 2nd row. "Oh brother, a one man, interactive show", i think to myself. Thankfully, that was the first and last of the interactive part. Just a tease. But let me tell you - this guys was ON. The show was fast paced, loud, energetic, and powerful. I won't say I walked away learning any plays - but I gotta say that Bo Eason is worth the trek over to 11th Ave. Even if only to see the aging blue eyed sports god and his totally rockin' bod. You'll leave pleasantly surprised.