Alexander V. Thompson’s new comedy, Pete Rex, performed by the Dreamscape Theatre at 59E59, starts with a video projection of a primitive man fighting a dinosaur. The whole show is a metaphor for man’s inner feelings and how he has not progressed much such the dawning of the age of man.
Our guide is Pete (Greg Carere), who has lost his girlfriend Julie (Rose Sowa). She is moving on from their town in West Kensington, PA and has begged Pete to come too. Julie is moving on because he can not. She is leaving for NYU. His best friend Bo (Simon Winheld), “independent web designer,” has kissed, said girlfriend and is just as much a loser as Pete.
Pete lives like a caveman in his man-cave watching all day marathon’s of “Madden ‘07”, with a slew of beer cans crunched and thrown on the floor as he eats zebra cakes, his fave and ignore a life he could of had. He is stuck and mostly by choice. He is depressed over the lose of Julie and and jealous but is stuck in so many ways. Suddenly, Julie appears stating that the town has been invaded by dinosaurs. At first the two do not believe her, until they turn on the TV. Pete who wanted to be a paleontologists has never studied beyond a associate’s degree in biology, claims to be an expert. Act One ends with the dinosaurs making themselves known and eating Bo who Pete has thrown to them for dinner.
Act two brings us an egg which it seems Julie and Pete found earlier who has been incubating. When it hatches out pops a insanely smart manipulative Tyrannosaurus rex who calls himself Nero rex (Simon Winheld). Nero engages Pete in a game of Trivial Pursuit, as he likes to play with his food. Pete is obtuse as Julie becomes his protector. In the end Pete shows Julie he can move on.
The actors are all well cast with Mr. Winheld extremely amusing as the T-Rex. Sadly Act Two is not as clever as Act One’s straight forwardness. It becomes too psychological and it almost seems as if we are watching two different plays. Also the character’s are not made likable so it is hard to care.
Brad Raimondo’s direction,is follows the above statements. Great in Act One and lost in translation in Act Two.
The lighting design by Remy M. Leelike and sound design by Megan Culley is clever enough to honestly make us feel the dino’s are outside ready to pounce. Caitlin’s Cisek set design makes us want to use Lysol on that apartment.
Mr. Thompson is a playwright to watch, but he needs some more nurturing.
Pete Rex, Dreamscape Theatre at 59E59 Theatre until March 3rd.