by Ed Malin · January 29, 2015
Bob Lane, Timothy McCown Reynolds, Alyssa Simon, Bryan Enk
Bonedive Scrounger is a new play written by Fred Backus and directed by Maggie Cino, now playing at The Brick. You may have seen the powerful 2014 FringeNYC show Warm Enough For Swimming, written by Cino and directed by Backus. You now have two weeks or so to come see this delightful, dream trip into a dive bar circa 1992, or perhaps some other time. It depends if you believe in the myth of progress, and if you like to be entertained.
Bronco (Jorge Cordova) is a writer who walks into a bar and hopes to get a drink. This is only a possibility to the extent a bartender can be found. But that's OK; Bronco spends a lot of time trying to write with only occasional results. In this unnamed bar, which may have been built above either a cemetery or a landfill, the lanky Jimmy (Bryan Enk) sleeps on his stool. Jimmy has a brilliant way of snapping into alertness to rediscover a scene at random moments. Then there's Clementina (Rebecca Comtois), a pretty young woman who is waiting for a blind date who never arrives. Annie (Alyssa Simon) is a striking, alternative type who takes polaroid photos of everyone. She may or may not be in a relationship with the bartender, Elie (Timothy McCown Reynolds), of exotic look and indeterminate accent. The last regular to arrive is Bull (Bob Laine), who is a master at the bar's state-of-the-art deer-shooting videogame, loves dogs, and has a rustic kind of violent streak. These characters are diverting enough to take up many a visit to the bar without any particular need for a forward-moving plot. True enough, Bronco tries and tries to do things such as write and pick up Clementina and/or Annie, but does not succeed. Like a lot of us, he is good at not accomplishing things. But slowly, first through winning at "Shoot The Buck, Not The Doe", he dares to threaten to shift the whole balance of things not changing. Even after he flees the scene and comes back to the bar years later when the place is under new management, he is in for a rude awakening about the nature of reality.
What can't this play achieve? The diverse cast of indie theater all-stars make quirkiness of the 1990s kind really fun to drink in. Is just looking at the world all your life such a bad thing? Does acting destroy everything you've come to know and love? What previous layers of existence may be right under your feet? Cino and Backus created this vibrant world, and would probably rock out a quantum physics experiment, too. Karen Flood's costumes are retro-fabulous, while Adam Swiderski's fight direction and Dina Rose Rivera's dance choreography keep things moving in vectors of greatness.