The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name) Review

Because I won the tickets to see The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name), I promised to write a review of the play. Here it is.

Chad Brummett is a dynamic local actor whose ability to create characters with movement, voices and subtle changes in expression make him mesmerizing to watch. Especially when you’re sitting in the front row of The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name), being staged at The Box Performance Space’s intimate setting. Especially when that intimate space encourages Brummett to look you right in the eye to flirt.

See, Gary’s a big flirt. And a slut. And a deeply sensitive young man who makes his living giving phone sex to men, and often, actual sex to men. The setting is New York City, originally in the 1980s, though director Dodie Montgomery has done a nice job updating certain aspects to bring it into the 2000s.

The play's central message is love and that a family is who you love, no matter the relation. Gary’s searching for love and family, as he hustles from sugar daddy to sugar daddy. He finds that blood, sex, love, violence and family all intersect for him. Gary’s got control issues – his leather jacket, mirrored sunglasses and the telephone act as barriers between him and other people – but we all have hang ups, right?

Brummett’s performance as Gary is notable for its physicality. I’ve seen him in many plays and movies, and am always struck by how he can transform himself each time. His control of his movement speaks to considerable thought about how a man like Gary would walk, and hold his head and hands. Brummett also does well in finding voices and accents for the other characters that come up – the crass Mary Carmen, the older Valentino, and the scary man in the Italian suit.

The performance time of about 90 minutes goes by quickly, and I promise you’ll be as engaged as the opening night audience was.

The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name) runs through March 22 at the Box Performance Space. Call 254-8393 for times and tickets or visit Tricklock. As you might guess, this show is for mature audiences (language, simulated sex, partial nudity), so don’t bring your pre-teens. Older teens are okay, since they've probably heard, seen and maybe even done worse than they'll see on stage.

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Comment by PJH on March 3, 2009 at 6:09am
A one-man show is a feat not to be taken lightly. Chad was very good as an actor, expert in his craft, but not convincing as a gay man, speaking as one myself. What was lacking was sensuality and sexual allure. I found my mind wandering.

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