With a few well-placed empty beer cans and a couple of techies who simulate a howling dog then a sputtering jalopy, the Access Theater’s tiny stage becomes a junkyard in the Ozark Mountains. Wearing overalls and bearing muttonchops, actor Joseph Langham comes off like a pudgy, drawling Jonathan Ames who’s busy building what he pronounces as a tray-bew-shay. (“It’s French for catapult.”) This chunk of medieval weaponry becomes the departure point in David M. White’s 3-person play from Missouri’s Immanent Eye Productions. Melissa (Katie Gilchrist) plans to catapult out of town as soon as she’s transferred to Little Rock, possibly leaving behind her sullen, hot-tempered, boozing, HIV-infected druggy boyfriend Bob (Will Manning). Slapping on goofy accents may be the easiest way to dress up a familiar storyline—woman longs to escape a stifling relationship and discover herself—but Trash toes a light, easy line between chuckles and moments of throat-catching poignancy. Credit first and foremost Manning’s moody, warts-and-all performance as a man overcoming suicidal self-pity and taking responsibility for the damage he’s caused.
By David M. White
Sat, Aug 13 at 12 p.m.; Sun, Aug 14 at 9 p.m.; Thu, Aug 18 at 3 p.m.; Thu, Aug 25 at 9 p.m.; Fri, Aug 26 at 7 p.m.; Sat, Aug 27 at 3 p.m.