The Most Damaging Wound, now at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis downtown, serves up a fun night of bromance and explores the changing nature of male bonds. Five men gather for a reunion that reveals their love and hate, challenges and insecurities. The Most Damaging Wound is that perfect play to take your boyfriend, husband, brother or son to. They will undoubtedly leave the theatre with a new appreciation for live plays.
Five college buddies reunite in the middle of a cold New York City Winter’s night to perform a valuable rite of passage into manhood. As their plan to burn a box of memories approaches, relationships, egos, and favorite sexual positions are defined, and secrets are revealed. In the midst of this boys’ night to end all boys’ nights, each man learns to let go of what once was.
The Most Damaging Wound is a new play by Blair Singer. The Phoenix Theatre is producing the Midwest premiere of a cutting edge new play by a contemporary playwright, as part of their involvement in the National New Play Network. The Phoenix Theatre is one of only a handful of theatre’s in the Indianapolis area to produce such innovative new work and to give voice to new American playwrights.
Each guy fills a different role in their gang. Kenny, played by Shane Chuvalas, is the new father, struggling against his fears of turning into his own father. Alan, played by Bill Simmons, is a sexy man’s man, a high powered lobbyist with a complicated love affair. Chuvalas and Simmons have a unique chemistry, as best friends, that pulls you into their characters’ long standing relationship. Their confidence in each other as actor’s shines through, as Kenny and Big Al man up to one another.
Bo (Scott Grenwell) is the “use-to-be” rock star, stuck with his ailing father and recovering from his own demons. Grenwell embodies Bo wonderfully, with a measure of patience and of anger that leads him down roads he would rather avoid. Doug Johnson, as Dickie, gives the most unbelievably believable performance of a drunk. He stumbles his way through each heartfelt conversation he begins, with a charm and a slur that are unbeatable.
Ricardo Melendez, as Gordan or G.G., gives a quirky yet touching performance as the outcast among the group, the nerd who always looked up to his friends. But of all the actors in The Most Damaging Wound, their is one that does not meet the physical prerequisites. Karen Irwin stands strong among the guys as Christie, Alan’s neurotic lover. In this part, Irwin is rambling, insecure and pathetically wonderful. Adding just the right amount of estrogen to evoke a completely different feeling from the room as she walks on stage.
The cast of The Most Damaging Wound work beautifully together. Though the show plays on Phoenix’s larger main stage, director Bryan Fonseca has managed to make it an extremely intimate experience. At times the feel is of an old movie, transporting you immediately back to a time when things felt simpler. The journey of this play hits every stop a good piece of theatre ought to. With moments of hilarious drunken chaos, moments of touching compassion, and moments with good old fashion drum circle dancing, The Most Damaging Wound is a great first effort in the Phoenix’s 2009-10 season.
The Most Damaging Wound is playing at the Phoenix Theatre through September 26th. Come to the Mass Ave cultural district and soak up some Indianapolis culture. With tons of great Indianapolis bars and Indianapolis restaurants in the area, taking in a play and grabbing some grub might just be the best bet for a date in the Circle City. Indy audiences can catch the Midwest premiere of The Most Damaging Wound Thursday through Sunday. This Indianapolis theatre has the edge when it comes to producing Indianapolis performing arts.
The Most Damaging Wound
The Phoenix Theatre
749 North Park Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202