A Truly Bad Hair Day
By Alison Tingley
The Bad Haircut is now playing at the Renaissance Theatre. It’s an original play written by Erie’s own Richard Boler and directed by Leslie Ford. The show features six actors: Justin Moyar, John Stockhausen, Leslie Ford, Scott Frisina, Karen Schelinski, Camille Jones. Moyar plays the main role and the other actors play various roles.
Upon entering the theater, I was first struck by the interestingly cluttered set. I soon discovered that everything takes place on the set with no real breaks in the action. Costumes and scenes are changed as the audience watches the show. While that’s a little distracting at first, it doesn’t take long to adjust. It’s a unique way to do things and reflects the changes and struggles that the main character is dealing with.
What do you mean, what struggles? What’s it all about? Oh, right. I guess I should tell you. The Bad Haircut is about, well, a bad haircut. Okay, not really, but it’s the impetus for the main character’s search for meaning in his life. He goes to the mall and gets a haircut. Once he gets the haircut, things don’t seem right anymore. He can’t explain why, and the feeling is so disconcerting that he goes on a quest to, essentially, find himself and figure out what it all means. He works a series of meaningless jobs which give him an interesting perspective regarding the absurdity of capitalism and corporate America as well as of life itself.
So, it’s a thinky show. It’s also funny. Very funny.
Moyar does an excellent job of portraying an American lemming – he’s following something; he’s just not sure what. He’s lost and you can see it on his face. When he addresses the audience, you feel like he’s really talking to you.
Stockhausen, Ford, Frisina, Schelinski, and Jones take each character they play, even if for a brief time, and make that character completely different from the rest. This is not an easy task, and they all do it very well. I don’t like lumping actors together, but I’m doing it anyway. Each of these actors gives a fantastic performance. Their delivery is spot on. They don’t overemphasize the jokes.
To summarize: acting – super, directing – fabulous, writing – tremendous, set and costumes – functional and appropriate. There are also some great songs in the show that are written and performed very well.
The Bad Haircut runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through July 28. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 and Sunday shows are at 2:30. The Renaissance Theatre is located on the 2nd floor at 1001 State St. There is some strong language peppered throughout the show. Just thought you should know. The show is quirky, funny, and really does make you think (if you let it). It’s definitely worth checking out.