THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES
Have faith in your journey. Everything had to happen exactly
as it did to get you where you’re going next!
Going on a road trip can be either idyllic or a long torturous experience. It depends on who you roll with and if the encounter will either be pleasant or cause permanent mental trauma. The production company RAW BiTES collaborated with different writers to create and carry out a nightmarish road to hell or a peaceful ride into the sunset. All the actors executed the writer’s vision perfectly. There’s no far-out stories that involve magicians, spirits or monsters. Although, that would be an interesting place to visit.
A few stand out achieving both craft and intensity without coming off as far-fetched. One of those favorites is Boot’s Vacation written by Rex McGregor and acted by Emma Chelsey. I don’t know how old Chelsey is, but she’s youthful enough to be mistaken for a tween. She plays a skateboarder from Chicago who’s on one of those vacations from hell, if you call going to Europe hell, with her whole family. Underneath the hard-ass persona, she’s a sweet kid but don’t mistake her for some soft-spoken kid who can’t speak for herself.
This girl will cut a bitch and do it with a satisfied grin. I’m just saying. “Gimme my board and I’m good!” she says proudly. She talks excitedly on how she will skate on every spiral ramp she finds in France, Italy and Berlin. After finding Nirvana in the last stop in New York City, Boot has “struck gold” and calls it her sickest trip ever before making a stop at the Guggenheim ramp.
Another good story comes from scribe Roger Vickery in New Girl acted wonderfully by Kenlyn Kanouse. She plays a concentration camp survivor from Mauthausen–Gusen located in Austria. She recalls a distinct memory on Saturday, May 5th, 1945. She gave a chilling and detailed account on how her family, managed to live in the camp. Simply horrific and inhumane. She casually strolls out with her walker, leaving her road trip memories in the past.
Hope for Us All, written by Doc Andersen-Bloomfield served as testament to the civil rights movement from the 60s to the current political climate as our commander-in-chief placed a ban on seven countries, including, Syria and Iran and now separating children from their families. The character Shanequa, played exceptionally by actress Sonya Wallace, was amazing to watch. Tired from a day at work, Shanequa relaxes with a glass of beer from a nearby bar. Suddenly, an arrogant and drunken fool decided it would be a good idea to harass a woman who’s not only black but looks like she can cause some serious damage to another person. After deciding to tell her that “America’s is first. Take back our country,” she decides to take the high road, with all the rage starting from her feet, slowly rising to her chest reaching her throat and mouth and walks away. That shows courage and remarkable strength.
Not to be only on a serious tone, writers like Kim Yaged Hypocrites & Strippers performed by a wonderful Laura Walker followed by an equally entertaining Schafer Bourne in The Weary written by Michael G. Hilton. Bourne leaves what could be considered the world longest voicemail message or it’s a one-sided conversation, with his brother Mikey about a road trip they shared with their father as boys. After mixing some Evan Williams’ bourbon whiskey with Coke for liquid courage, Bourne starts on an excruciatingly retelling of their journey. Either way, the boy can talk. At times, Bourne is amusing and others he becomes emotional during the conversation. It’s those small moments where he lets go of his shell and a huge 4X4 chip on his weary shoulders, to reveal a fragile soul looking for happiness.
Walker does the most hilarious story about her ex-stripper girlfriend Elizabeth. This actress goes all out in expressing her frustrations with her boo. A pair of six-inch silver, open-toe stilettos gets thrown across the stage. Walker comes out pissed at her current flame, who she met at the seedy club Cheetahs and uses the heels to channel that frustration. She admits to having seasoned stripper disease but isn’t that much in a hurry to battle the sickness.
Whether you’re gong away for the weekend having a stay vakay, the road will lead you places you didn’t expect. So, pop open a bottle of whatever you like and enjoy the journey. What else you gonna do?
The Road-Trip Monologues runs until Sunday, July 22nd. The show plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Zephyr Theatre located at 7456 Melrose Ave., in Los Angeles. For reservations, log on to www.plays411.com/roadtrip.