Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Mark Gerrard
Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
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Review by Noelani Kamelamela
(Boston, MA) Zeigeist Stage Company’s production of “Steven” is comedy which depicts the fracturing of a modern queer family. Since on average everyone’s a little more queer than they would have been a decade ago, there isn’t much dialogue or action that would make sense to only a queer audience. Coded moments between the characters are more about their bonds of friendship or assumed family bonds. At a zippy 80 minutes with no intermission, this is a compact show with a quick-moving cast.
The title character realizes on his birthday that his life is not what he thought it was going to be. His best friend is dying, he can no longer trust his live-in lover and his other best friend is utterly indifferent to his problems. Although there are laughs and moments of pure joy, Victor Shopov’s Steven is at his most delightful when filled with rage and ranting about how nothing is the way he thought it would be.
Anyone who has been cheated on in a long-term relationship will fully sympathize with Steven’s actions. The other characters also go through their own arcs, each wondering if the passionate flames of youthful potential have died down to mere embers. Gerrard’s script insists that yes, once you are older you can’t go back to being young and if you are hot, cherish it as long as you can. Time marches on.
The set had three to four simultaneous live areas which were cleverly made to suit multiple purposes. Sound cues and lighting kept the action rolling. Modern costumes were appropriate. Texting was accomplished by having the actors speak their texts as they typed them in. This ‘texting’ created an extra dimension of dialogue which became an extra character in the play.
Next up for Zeitgeist is “Love! Valour! Compassion!” running from April 27 to May 19 also at the Boston Center for the Arts.