True West: A Review
“True West” tells the emotional tale of two very different brothers. Throughout the play the brothers learn the hard way how to see things from the each other’s perspective.
The younger brother, Austin, played by freshman Zack Tellier, is a struggling author who’s trying to get one of his stories on the big screen with the help of the sleazy producer Saul Kimmer, played by Brandon Engelskirchen. Things seem to be going great for Austin and Saul until Austin’s conniving, alcoholic, older brother Lee, played by Greg Stoughton, shows up out of the blue.
Lee, much to Austin’s misfortune, meets the sleazy producer, Saul, and convinces him to film a “true western” story instead of producing Austin’s love story. This leads to a power struggle between the two brothers who are both trying to have their own story made into a film, until they realize that they could use each other’s help.
However, their companionship does not last and they go back to hating each other in the end. The show ultimately ends with Austin, the younger brother, almost killing his older brother Lee. In spite of this, Lee miraculously survives his brother’s strangling and the lights cut out with the two brother’s staring in shock at each other, leaving the audience with a giant cliffhanger.
All of the acting for this illustrious show was nothing less than phenomenal. The Florence-Busby-Corriher Experimental Theatre provides such up close action that the audience becomes entranced for the entire production.
Greg Stoughton’s mad, drunken acting was at times so terrifying and realistic that you could visibly see the audience cringing in their seats, hoping they wouldn’t be his next victim. Zach Tellier’s slow transition from a conservative writer to a toaster-stealing drunkard showed off his vast versatile acting skills. Brandon Engelskirchen’s depiction of a sleazy producer was portrayed wonderfully in every smooth word and illustrious hand gesture. Freshman Maddy Auchter, who played the mother of the brother’s, only appeared in the final scene because she was visiting Alaska during the beginning of the play. Even though her part was small, Auchter still managed to provide an almost comical aspect to the show with her bewildered facial expressions over the fact that the brothers had basically destroyed her lovely Arizona home.
With such a small cast, the members needed to have a lot of dedication to the show, dedication that was clearly shown by their skillful acting.