This month I saw Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal at The American Airlines Theater which was the true story of an unfortunate housewife in the 20’s who had no voice, no sense of self-definition and wound up in the electric chair and then I saw Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guilderstein are Dead which explores death and what it really means. So it’s no coincidenceSoLOL that I saw the most amazing, well done play also about deathLOL(though no laughing matter!) at The Ensemble Studio Theater located at 549 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY.
Even though I say that this play was about death, it was really about hope. It was about the personal transformation of a young man who has a love bond with a rooster that he lives with and takes care of called Odysseus Rex or Ody.
This young man named Gil Pepper (played brilliantly by Thomas Lyons) lives with his mother and works in McDonald’s with his nasty, disrespectful manager. As a matter of fact, pretty much everyone in Gil’s life disrespects him from home to office. But, the one hope that Gil clings to is the power that Ody has as a cockfighting rooster and Ody lives through Ody’s power.
But as fate would have it, after Ody winning a major cockfighting match and Gil reclaiming his self-respect in most areas of his life, the unfortunate happens and Ody isn’t around anymore to show up for the stronger part of Gil and so Gil goes back to be uh-huh! disrespected.
However, after Gil slides back into this world of low self-esteem and Ody isn’t around anymore, Gil finds his own strength and self-respect and doesn’t need a rooster/cockfighter to stand up for him anymore.
The last scene played so movingly by Gil provided hope not only for Gil and his future but speaking for myself, hope the each one of us, will find our voice and our belief in ourselves despite their surrounding circumstances and that “All things are possible to those who believe- in this case in themselves!”