Welcome Home Steve

by Craig McNulty

Directed by Saida Cooper and Amanda Kate Joshi

Cast: Tyson Murphy, Daniel Marimon, Ian Roettger, Brittany A. Palazzo, Maire-Rose Pike, Rommel Genciana (v/0)

Players Theatre Loft

115 Macdougal Street

New York, NY

December 6 – 20, 2006

Productions Photos.

Backstage Review:

Welcome Home Steve
December 07, 2006
By Ron Cohen

Don’t look for Steve in Welcome Home Steve, a perky comedy-drama by Craig McNulty. He never appears. But unlike Beckett’s Godot, another titular no-show, there’s no doubt Steve is emphatically real. The problem is that he’s just died of a heroin overdose in the bedroom of Sheila’s Brooklyn apartment, where Sheila and four other 20-something longtime pals have gathered to celebrate his return after a prolonged stay overseas.

It’s no spoiler to reveal Steve’s demise. He’s found dead at the end of a brief first scene, and it throws the party into a sometimes hectic, sometimes philosophical mode. The friends debate whether they should call the police, considering the circumstances of Steve’s death; what to do with his body if they don’t call the police; and whether they should attempt to sell the huge stash of heroin that has accompanied Steve home from Turkey. As they do, they’re forced to ponder the ethics of drug selling and drug use and re-examine their own mores and relationships.

The friends include host Sheila (Maire-Rose Pike), a masseuse with a spiritual bent; Peter (Tyson Murphy), a perpetually stoned pothead who works at a taco shop; Bill (Daniel Marmion), a struggling writer of science-fiction and horror tales; John (Ian Roettger), a frustrated high school English teacher; and Holly (Brittany A. Palazzo), an honors graduate from Columbia University who works for a consulting firm. You may wonder what has held the friendship of these disparate people together over the years, but as the evening progresses, they turn out to be an entertaining crew to watch thanks to McNulty’s crisp dialogue; the excellent actors, who create a quintet of totally believable characters; and the smartly paced staging of directors Saida Cooper and Amanda Kate Joshi.

The show is an offering of the fledgling Wizard Oil Productions, and based on Welcome Home Steve, the young company could be a welcome addition to the Off-Off-Broadway scene.

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