The Fierce Urgency of Now” Presented by Arouet

You know you’re in New York the moment you step into the small black box that is Stone Soup’s Downstage. The frieze that runs along the whole of the back wall depicts a crowded city with the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building clearly visible. It’s the Big Apple, where the advertising industry plays a major role. And this is a play about the hell that pervades so many advertising agencies wherever they are.

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

Evan Louis Thomas (Kyle) and Laura Crouch (Dodo) photo by Michael Brunk

Written by Doug DeVita, this world premiere, directed by Roy Arauz, doesn’t hold back. Jealousies, back stabbing, impossible deadlines, even more impossible clients, outrageous demands, long hours! Yet within that circle of Hell, can be found compassion and friendship.

At its center is Art Director Kyle. His world is in disarray. Neil, his great love of the moment, breaks up with him, and his boss, the double-dealing, conniving, castrating Kate the Dragon Lady, is out to get him. But an angel, in the person of Dodo, is assigned to work with him, and Neil’s life changes in the most extraordinary way.

The playwright is skilled at revealing a nasty world within a script heavily dosed with humor. It’s filled with laughs. The writing is fresh, funny, and smart without striving for hilarity. It hits where it’s meant to hit.

The acting of the entire cast captures both the poignancy and humor of the play. Evan Louis Thomas as Kyle can be as feisty as a caged bobcat and as broken as yesterday’s toy. Lisa Viertel as Kate is as loathsome as the part demands. Laura Crouch as Dodo is the friend we all want to have.

It is interesting to note that the title “The Fierce Urgency of Now” is a line taken from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Perhaps the message here is that whatever life throws at you, it’s in your interest to act, to address it. Complacency is not an alternative.

Through Nov. 22 at Stone Soup’s The Downstage Theatre, 4029 Stone Way N., Seattle, (800 838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com)

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