It’s difficult not to smile throughout most of “Trevor” and to break out in chortles every once and again. Loosely based on a real event of a domesticated chimpanzee gone wild, this is one long gag of letting you, the audience member, in on the inner life of a chimpanzee that the humans around him can’t seem to get.
What’s an aging chimp to do who just can’t seem to get that call from an Agent bringing him back to the stardom he enjoyed as a babe? It’s especially hard now that he has newfound hormones that let him really appreciate the beauty Morgan Fairchild (Loretta Rezos) who was once in his grasp and with whom he shared his fifteen minutes in the sun.
If only that mindless mother of his (Mierka Girten) would stop her jibberish chattering! If only the world could see his performance genius! I ask you, what’s a chimp overflowing with unrecognized talent to do?
Make you laugh again and again, that’s what he does.
Don’t think you’ll be seeing some hairy ape costume here. Lawrence Grimm in orange overalls and some chimp movement coaching by Heather Sultz takes you on this journey of suspended disbelief with his first swing onto the stage and firmly holds you there.
When we first meet him he’s been a bad boy driving off in the car yet again. The play recounts the last few days when his bad behavior spirals so far out of control that the “give” in this somethings-got-to-give situation finally does. That it doesn’t have a happy ending doesn’t get in the way of the comedy because you see that bad end coming from the gitgo. It’s all in the telling of the tale.
Some might see the similarities between this story and a more humdrum dysfunctional human family with a co-dependent Mom clinging to her bad boy son gone wild. Go there if you want. My recommendation is to take this gem of a script on its own terms—nothing more and nothing less.
Granted, if you ever had a pet that cocked its head in wonder at you when you asked it a question you’ll get an extra laugh. And if you live in the show biz world the inside track of an actor out-of-a-gig mindset will also have another layer of chuckle.
A Red Orchid Theatre never seems to disappoint. To go from the racetrack world of Simpatico to that of a messy suburban home with a 200 pound chimpanzee shows a lot of dexterity. A Red Orchid pulls it off neatly.
Runs through December 1
A Red Orchid Theater, 1531 North Wells Avenue
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 PM
Sundays 3:00 PM
For tickets call 312 943 8722 or visit A Red Orchid Theater’s Website.
Photos: Michael Brosilow