More importantly, I received one of my favorite reviews ever, from Stuart Bousel, who created the Stuart Excellence In Bay Area Theater Awards:
BEST SHORT PLAY
“Play It Again, Friend” by Tim Bauer
directed by Jessica Holt (SF Theater Pub)
I saw a lot of fine short plays this year, but of all of them, Tim Bauer’s capper to this year’s Pint Sized Play Festival was my personal favorite.
Tim’s style, I have noticed, is a sort of mixing of the extremely comedic with the quietly tragic. He excels at creating slightly over-the-top characters who, in their banter and brashness, display these achingly vulnerable sides.
What I particularly loved about this show was the experimental nature of it (it’s a conversation between a drunk bar patron and a piano player — but the latter never speaks, only plays his piano and occasionally shoots the audience a pointed glance) combined with the completely relatable humanity of the piece.
We’ve all been the drunk guy (played with amazing pomposity by Cooper Carlson) and we’ve all been the piano player forced to listen to him (played with maestro piano skills and brilliant deadpan humor by Anthony Ferraro).
Elegantly directed by Jessica Holt, this play captured the tension between servant and served, artist and audience, patron and patronized, and it made you feel the loneliness, frustration and isolation of both sides, even as you laughed at the absurd lines and black truths swimming through them like bull sharks.
A perfect little gem of a show, subtle and calculated, beautifully executed from beginning to end, and that rarity of rarities, a short piece I got more out of each time I watched it.