Christine Probst as Toby in the Actors Rep production of Greyhounds by Daryl Lisa Fazio
Photo: Wendy Winn
Theatre: The European premier of Greyhounds, an Actors Rep production of a Daryl Lisa Fazio play, is a sure fire winner say our pair of critics.
In Daryl Lisa Fazio’s play “Greyhounds”, circumstance brings together two very different women at an isolated Oklahoma bus stop. After the dress rehearsal of the play, presented by the Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg and directed by Erik Abbott, the urge for a drink brings together two very different women at the bar.
Stella: S’cuse me. Mind if I elbow my way in here? I’m not gonna spill your Chardonnay or anything, just want to grab a beer. Well, that ain’t all really. I mean, jeeez. You can’t see something like that and just walk out and drive off can you? It’d be like making love with all kinds of whooping and hollering and then just getting out of the bed and pulling on an old bathrobe without so much as a hug.
Chantal: Just let me catch breath. I feel like I’ve just stepped out of a roller coaster, watching “Greyhounds”. I laughed out loud, so many parts rang true. Both actors, taking on other roles and totally inhabiting them, had me chuckling. And then the twist happened... you better hand me that drink....
Stella: You sound like a luvvie. Isn’t that what they call you theatre types? I don’t much get out to plays and such, but I hit the jackpot tonight--got me a comedy, a tragedy, a drama, a crime story all rolled up in one. And those actresses--God they were something, weren’t they? Never saw people change personalities so much, ex-husband excepted.
Chantal: Well, that’s acting for you, darling. And it certainly was fine acting, from both actresses! Rhona Richards arrived on stage as Mercy, prim and neat even in the way she ate her Goldfish crackers, then morphed into a convincing drunk virgin then a sleazy preacher. Christine Probst played Toby with energetic drive, loutish and loud, then before our eyes she shrunk, revealing Toby’s past that had led her to make this journey. Phew.
Stella: You know, I felt like a fish out of water coming in here. Sure is pretty though. The whole space, this Robin Lake place, not so much the set. The set was just a bench, some phone, a couple of worn out tires. Looked like my backyard, minus the bench. I’m more at home at truck festivals, as that Mercy character called ‘em. Cracked me up. A lot of it did, but it got me thinking, too. And damned near got me crying. What about you?
Chantal: It was moving. It was funny. It was clever, and poignant. Oklahoma by way of Luxembourg City. I also see that this is the play’s European debut. Is Luxembourg ready for it?
Stella: Well I wasn’t sure I was ready for it, but I’m real happy I came along. And you know, if Toby can drop the tough act and Mercy can light up a cigarette and cuss, then dang it, I can too. Not cuss and smoke. I’m alright on that score.... I mean dare to be me. I think they’re the ones who gave me the courage to start yakking with a stranger here at the bar. You want a fill up? Another one of those white wines?
Chantal: I’m drinking crémant, darlin’. But I just might wash it down with a Jack Daniels chaser, as we’ve just enjoyed a taste of American. Let’s raise a glass to “Greyhounds”. It’s a real winner!