A sense of unease pervades immediately upon entry to the theater. It’s not the backdrops meant to resemble drawings delineating the space into various locations. It certainly wasn’t the unassuming black stools and TV trays serving as the only props. It was the seven actors, dressed in greyscale, literally propped up on the sides of the stage.
“Nap the Show” is the story of a teenage girl’s struggle with depression and the lives surrounding her. Sofia (LaurenSage Browning) is celebrating her eighteenth birthday with her mother Anne (Fiona Rose), her older sister Jinx (Jacqueline Cook), and younger brother Taylor (August Gall). Late to the party is her overworked, out-of-touch father Kirk (Samuel Garnett) who has forgotten the birthday entirely.
Sofia in Limbo (Marika Rose Sayers) sits at the front of the stage for most of the show. Unfortunately her performance is blocked by the audience nearly the entirety for those not sitting up front.
Sofia later struggles to communicate her lack of purpose to her boyfriend Clay (Garrett Gallego). Garret’s performance feels natural and believable for a teenager. The playful chemistry between Garret and LaurenSage brings a sense of authenticity to the relationship. LaurenSage’s precise physical portrayal of the hidden unraveling of oneself as the pressures of life crush in was almost too real for comfort.
The first scene stutter-steps with multiple threads of dialogue, often occurring at the same time and talking over one another, making the story difficult to follow. Once the diverse and talented cast began interacting one-on-one in their own scenes the show found it’s stride.
Scene transitions are a silent, slow dance set to songs with heartbreaking lyrics, bleeding over from one scene to another. While fresh and different, these transitions are not always clear and can detract from the superb performances of the actors, which in their own right deserve a personal review this review’s word count limit does not allow. Although executed well, they were in the way more than they helped.
Honest and raw, this show will tug on your heartstrings, sometimes with a yank. There is an uncomfortable amount of conflict, but then again, life is rarely comfortable. Chances are you’ll relate to and identify with one of the characters, even if you’d rather not. You won’t be disappointed, but you may cry a little.