By Bob Evans
When discussing his KC Fringe submission, The Table, playwright Curtis Smith described it a deep, dark, disturbing, and he proves right on all accounts in the play at The Living Room Theatre.
The play surprises the audience with some raw looks at a man, John, who sits at an empty, oblong table, head down, suggesting he may have fallen asleep there. But that’s not the case. Enter a nameless character with no emotional connection to John whom John conceives as his “messenger of death”—a tormenter, perhaps.
As the two work through the first scene, more and more about John’s life, past, and demise begin to unmask the darker side that dwells deep within him. What comes forth is the harsh, ugly, tormented soul that everyone hopes to hide from the world.
John’s inner journey through his past and present also include his family and co-workers. His harshness devolves into even more unthinkable musings as he revisits different situations. Each scene and event spirals deeper and darker.
The Table is a surprise and something out of the ordinary. The show is wonderfully acted and conceived by Smith. He threw caution to the wind for this raw, unmasked portrait of a tormented soul. To assist him in his production, local actors undertook roles of his family and friends. Ben Auxier gives a strong performance as the tormentor while Laura Jacobs adds another character to her growing resume as the unappreciated wife.
The show has very strong language, content, and theme. It is definitely not for children.