Beers about Songs - Lil Theater Company
Reviewed By Dan Mroz
The show’s title, “Beers about Songs,” does little to forewarn the audience of the heaviness of the autobiographical story which Ryan Adams Wells presents. But that doesn't disturb because he tells his story with a perfect blend of passion, wit, and seriousness. Wells, accompanied by his acoustic guitar and judicious lighting, invites us into his life by joyously singing about his special relationship with beer, and beguiles us into joining a toast. His guitar playing brings to mind Pete Townsend’s aggressive and percussive rhythmic playing, and is effectively used to complement the storyline.
Wells quickly reveals certain personal traits which cripple his relationships with women. These are first described whimsically, but they devolve into a chain which binds him to an abusive relationship and alcohol dependency. Wells deftly describes with emotional detail and ferocious guitar accompaniment his descent; when it is almost too much to bear, he wisely pulls back and provides timely humorous relief. Wells brings the audience to his personal cliff and provides his view from the cliff with passion, ferocity, bared emotions, and humor. With first-rate musicianship and storytelling, Ryan Adams Wells delivers an intense and dramatic show.