By Andrew Ross
There is some good news for all the stoners and Metallica fans out there: you can get your hedonistic fix at Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, which runs at the Pumphouse Theatre Nov. 15-25.
While it may not deliver the same deafening volume and astonishing three-chord guitar riffs as a hard-rock concert, the play does promise a testosterone-fueled chauvinistic rollercoaster of unadulterated adolescent anger. The play, penned in 1992 by indie screen-writer Eric Bogosian (whose other works include Talk Radio and subUrbia), is a series of 13 not neccessarily connected monologues.
"I guess one of the problems [with the monologue format] would be that there’s no standard ‘story’ if you will; it’s little snippets, but I think it’s certainly very interesting and hits all of those things: sex, drugs, and rock and roll," says director and performer C. Adam Leigh.
"It’s different from your standard, and there’s nowhere to hide, so when you’re up there, it’s just you with nobody else," says co-star Sean Bowie. "Especially in a place like where we’re performing, which is an intimate theatre, it’s a real confessional with you and the audience."
Both actors were enthused with Bogosian’s work.
"The thing about Bogosian, because he’s such a good writer the words are so vivid. It’s really easy to paint the images of where you are without having a set," gushed Bowie.
"Eric Bogosian, he writes caricatures, so these are real characters and you see a lot of people in there," says Leigh, continuing the love-in.
Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll is Ground Zero Theatre Ensemble’s first show of their "skitz-o-phrenia" season. The young Calgary theatre company, whose office lies in the as-yet-unbeautified part of downtown’s west end, is putting up several pieces this season under the auspices of the One Yellow Rabbit theatre company.
Leigh thinks the season is well balanced.
"Let’s just face it: this is a guy show… and it’s a good balance with The Vagina Monologues, which is all women."
Ground Zero’s decision to do two monologue pieces in one season is certainly interesting, if less than prudent. Although the format doesn’t do as well with mainstream audiences as traditional plays, Leigh and Bowie are unconcerned.
"One of the greatest things about the show is that the gauntlet is thrown down, but it’s thrown to the audience," enthusiastically explains Bowie. "It’s like ‘we challenge you to accept what we’re giving you. We challenge you to enjoy this. We challenge you to participate. We dare you to hate it.’"