Hume Baugh’s play Crush was inspired by a 1995 incident on the sensationalist Jenny Jones TV talk show. Three days after taping, a male guest killed a gay man who had openly said he had a crush on him on national television. The killer clearly had homosexual identity issues.
Baugh makes a brave stamp at fleshing out the characters – the two men and the woman who introduced them – aided by some very good acting from Julian deZotti and Ryan Kelly. Courtney Lyons as Sandra is a bit calculated and telegraphed in her approach.
Jenna McCutchen’s set is in the round, and director Mark Cassidy deftly moves his characters through the scaffold set, in the shape of a trailer, although I don’t understand why the cast begins to dismantle the set and then stops midway.
Baugh shows promise as a playwright, and Crush certainly holds interest despite some repetitious dialogue and acting mannerisms.
Crush continues at Factory Theatre Studio until Dec. 11.
Optic Heart Theatre
Written by Hume Baugh
Directed by Mark Cassidy
Performed by Julian deZotti, Ryan Kelly and Courtney Lyons
Factory Theatre Studio
Dec. 1 to 11, 2011