Director: Mike Burdick
Producer: Jessica Foerst
Stage Manager: Kristine Munchkin
WHEN: March 2nd and 3rd (7 PM-9 PM); Possible call backs: March 5th (7 PM-10 PM)
WHERE: Rahway Rec Center, 3 City Hall Plaza, Rahway
Show dates: July 10,11,17,18 at 7:30 PM; July 12 and 19 at 2 PM
Union County Performing Arts Center: The Loft
Set in the Hollywood Hills in the 1980’s, Hurlyburly is a quite simply and completely f-ed up. It’s the tale of four self-destructive guys (Eddie, Mickey, Phil and Artie) who make—or are attempting to make—their living in the movie business. But, that hardly sums it up. It’s also about the drugs they take, the women they encounter (Darlene, Bonnie and Donna) and the contrasting and disturbing way in which they see life and the world in general.
Who are the guys?
- Eddie: Ok, anyone who does this play is going to need serious therapy. So let’s start out with some word association. Words (and phrases) that associated with Eddie: cocaine, paranoid, self-obsessed moldy Hostess Snowballs, delusion, ranting at the tv (and anyone else that rubs him the wrong way – and, BTW, everything rubs Eddie the wrong way). Love … hate … all at the same time. Just to name a few. Eddie wants things to be “right.” He really does. But when they become right, he always trips himself up. He can’t help himself. Why? Because he demands that everything be EXACTLY RIGHT and COMPLETELY on his terms. He wants a regular, serious romance with Darlene. However, once they establish a committed relationship, his paranoia completely takes it apart in his mind then in reality.
Eddie’s life is a ping-pong match, going from meaningless one-night-stand and drug binges to a “grown-up” life as an up-and-coming casting director. But really, he is unhappy with both sides of the coin. Luckily he can always take comfort in the belief that his friends are more pitiful than he is. And when he can’t rely on that anymore … that’s when the wheels ready come off the bus.
- Phil: If Eddie is laying in the gutter, then his friend Phil would be in the ooze looking up at him. This guy has latched himself to Eddie.
Phil’s testosterone-driven, crude, often three steps behind, aggressive and abusive, but doesn’t really understand why. He can’t take his own behavior (it haunts him, but doesn’t stop him) and looks to Eddie constantly for help and approval (not a good idea.). Phil does have a sympathetic side, which he shows on the rarest of occasion, for instance, when he holds his holds his baby daughter. But overall, Phil is on a collision course with a horrific fate.
- Artie: At the start of the play, Artie is every bit as chauvinistic as Eddie and Phil (going so far as to find a homeless teenage girl (Donna) who is living in a hotel elevator, taking her in, using her for a week and then giving her to Eddie and Mickey as a “present.” He is constantly trying to be one of the guys, but Eddie is always putting him down a peg with little digs, mostly letting out the air on Artie’s latest potential Hollywood deal.
But ultimately, Artie proves himself and shows growth in the play, netting both a production deal and a new-found respect for women. Go figure.
- Mickey: Mickey is definitely NOT the person that should be sharing an apartment with Eddie. It’s like mixing helium with … well … with whatever makes helium explode. Recently separated from his wife, he is both cold-hearted and level-headed, all at the same time. While he does partake on drug use, he doesn’t share Eddie’s addictive behavior, nor does he rage and rampage like Phil. But, he definitely has no problems, say, stealing a girlfriend away from his friend, only to turn right around and realize he wasn’t that interested days later.
Overall, nothing is terribly important to Mickey. Things happen.
- Darlene: Darlene is caught between Eddie and Mickey. She has a definite past and her own set of flaws, but what shines through is that she is trying to be “a person” and she has a lot more self-respect than anyone in the play. She will spend most her time with her made foil Eddie, which eventually becomes a “somewhat serious” thing. She is less demented then the rest and plays an important role as Eddie’s prime motive for a less destructive lifestyle. But, ultimately, they are better when they are fighting.
- Donna: Cue the homeless female teenager (While we admire the tremendous talent in many, many of the younger actors out there, we will ONLY be looking at actors who are of legal age – due to the nature of the play itself.). At first, Donna is … well, an object. She is somewhat ditsy and willing in, well, every way. But, by the end of the play, it can be argued that she has makes the biggest positive impact on Eddie. After wandering through California, she returns to Eddie’s house and her philosophical speech about how she thinks the universe works allows Eddie realizes that everything in the cosmos actually pertains to him.
- Bonnie : Bonnie is on one hand a “good time girl,” a stripper famous for, wait for it, balloon dancing and she is ready to party. On the other hand, she is completely confident, strong beautiful and extremely high energy. Her only real flaw is that she is inadequately self-protecting creation. Despite her unfortunate luck of being introduced to the likes of Phil, she offers insight and advice to the wasting away Eddie. She also gives Artie a glimpse of a “normal” sort of relationship, inspiring hope for a more balanced life.