As Bud Hunter's one-man play, "Bud Hunter's Life in the Big City or Male Menopause and the Single Guy" begins, Hunter references "The Sopranos." Tony talks with Dr. Melfi about his family and past as a means of working through and understanding his current problems and reactions, Hunter points out. To that end, Hunter's play is loosely set up in the form of a therapy session. The theoretical conceit is that Hunter is talking to us about his past (or "Bud Hunter" the character is, in any event) as a means of working through his own problems, and coming to his own self-knowledge. The actor embarks upon one self-indulgent ramble after another, frequently breaking off mid-monologue to ask questions of his invisible psychologist. At one point, Hunter stops after a bit he finds particularly ironic to ask his doctor "Isn't that ironic, Doc? Don't you think?" (Yes, he really does say that. And, no, it isn't funny when he does.) It's a mistake for Hunter to reference "The Sopranos" right at the outset of his production. It immediately brings another, better piece of art to the forefront of our minds, and highlights the shortcomings of Hunter's own piece of art. The anecdotes Tony told to Dr. Melfi developed his character, fleshed out the characters around him, added dramatic resonance to later scenes, and helped Tony fulfill his role as a character in a carefully conceived dramatic structure. Seemingly, Hunter tells us anecdotes for the sole purpose of telling us anecdotes. There's no character growth or plot growth in Hunter's play. And the stories aren't funny. Hunter tells us about the wacky perverts in his neighborhood. Then drinks some water. Then tells us about his childhood shenanigans with his cousin Rod. Then drinks some water. Then inexplicably references the movie "The Good Son" several times, and shares an unfunny impression of Dr. Phil as a used car salesman. Then drinks some water. An hour later, the play's done. Skip it, and watch some "Sopranos" instead. Or even "The Good Son".
Show times: September 8 in Khyber Arts Centre 3 (Turret) at 6:30pm and September 9 in the Turret, 7:30pm; $4.