Mangled Beams opened tonight and good thing for Dawn Jamieson the writer it is not an open run or it would be closing tonight. Jamieson has been working on this show for fifteen years, one would thing it would be a whole lot better. The show had no life to it, the actors were to morose and non committed to there deliveries. I do not know if it was poor direction by Christen Callahan or that the actors knew this was a poorly written play.
The first act takes place in a union hall where we find Sal(Mike Pirozzi), the union leader who refuses to give work out to any Indians for various reasons, drinking, past prison sentences or maybe just prejudice. Pirozzi was actually one of the better characters in the show, believable, and committed to the role. Sal takes bribes from the Indians and still very rarely sends them out on jobs. We meet Brad Martin, his brother Dave, Greg, his girlfriend Becky,Joe, who was another actor in this performance and Fern, Brads wife. The first act focuses on Indians wanting to climb on beams and selling illegal cigarettes. Jamieson is cognisent in bringing out prejudice on both sides. Sal thinks there drunks, many do not want to hire them and the Indians do not trust the white folk and believe they have abused them over the years. The writer makes some what clear of the problems that the Indians bring on themselves. I say some what because the first act is all over the place, from Becky , Greg’s girlfriend who was once Dave’s girlfriend to selling cigarettes inside the union hall, to Brads drinking to him getting thrown out of his house by his wife, the AA meeting speech, back to having his brother thrown in jail, the hatred for Joe, Greg’s son. It runs at 100 MPH but goes no where.
The second act has the World Trade Center coming down on 9/11 and now Sal needs the Indians to climb up on the beams. The whole play talks about the beams but has little meaning. The play tries to go deep but Jamieson is just playing small ball here, a very amaturestic writer. It is Brad who takes over for Sal to clean up the Trade Center, this is where the over drama comes in, everything is a big production over small thoughts put forth for the audience. Where the show could have come alive, it grew more lifeless, Jamieson tried to make it a moving deep piece but comes up short. The whole drama about Sal’s father building the North Tower and falling, becoming a quadriplegic and Brads dad working on it too was supposed to be a taster choice moment, but it went by without moving the audience. Jokes fell flat as did the barbs at Mayor Giuliani.
The one good thing about this show was the lighting, Schreiner did a good job with the different effects. Kyle Le Maire’s costumes were also good, but we were not there for just the lighting and costumes. This show was absolutely horrible, it had no meaning to it, or if it did, it was difficult to detect. The writing and acting were lifeless as was the story meaning, or what it tried to put forth.