|Joe Lui and Alicia Osyka|
Directed by Lisa Louttit
Designed by Sara Chirichilli
Lighting designer Karen Cook
Sound designer Joe Lui
Performed by Joe Lui, Alicia Osyka, James Marzec, Taryn Ryan, Nick Pages-Oliver and Tristan McInnes
Blue Room Theatre
Until November 5
Porto (Alicia Osyka) spends this evening, as she does most others, in the local Brooklyn bar where she is routinely fed, watered, teased and propped up by the bartender, Doug (James Marzec) and the waiter Raphael (Nick Pages-Oliver). Another regular, Dry Sac (Taryn Ryan), “the hottest woman you’ve ever laid eyes on”, slinks in wearing a dress made of what seems to be paint. (There are very specific character descriptions and stage directions in the American playwright Kate Benson’s text – more on that shortly.)
There’s the usual banter between people who know – though perhaps not well, and are comfortable with, one another. There’s food talk, booze talk, the faintly conspiratorial tone of American bars since prohibition; if the cops burst in, blackjack tables and drinks would disappear and Dry Sac would flutter her eyelashes as though butter wouldn’t melt – although, in her case, at least, it would sizzle.
Into this cosy mix comes Hennepin (Tristan McInnes), “some version of a Hot Guy”, with a copy of the extravagantly-mourned David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest under his arm. He stirs the joint, and especially Porto, up a bit. Some things happen, but nothing much more than you’d expect over the course of a boozy few days in and around a bar. Certainly, there’s nothing justifies a plot summary, or a spoiler alert, from me.
This narrative inconsequentiality means Benson can throw everything she’s got at the characters and their milieu, which she does with great erudition and bravado. [PORTO] gallops along, casting theatrical daring and cultural references from its hooves like broken turf.