ON BROADWAY? –
Feb. 1, 2024 – It never rains but it pours. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t pour rain. What’s poured instead is scotch, bourbon, rum, and beer. Sean Daniels is the author of this unyielding autobiographical reminiscence — autobiographical because Steven reports achievements as an actor, director and having spent much theater time in Kentucky.
Daniels himself has a parallel career history and so has chosen, as a recovering Alcoholics Anonymous member, to herald his evidently personal history.
It may be that Daniels uses the name “Steven” in observance of the rule that AA members always remain anonymous. So, it’s the unflaggingly animated Joe Tapper as Steven who steps out at lights up to address the audience, immediately announcing he sipped his first beer when he was 12.
He proceeds to take the audience through a growing addiction that includes crashing his car into a pole, a regularly threatened first marriage, eventually attending an AA meeting (where he received a white chip on surrendering to his problem), a 70-day sobriety achievement, sobriety slips too numerous to count, finally remaining sober for five years, and still counting.
Throughout, Tapper is joined by Crystal Dickinson, identified in the program as #1, and Jason Tam, identified as #2. They play everyone else in Steven’s past, so many characters that the impersonations may add up to an equivalent of Steven’s multiple slips. Among rapidly coming-and-going others, they’re Steven’s parents — his stern mother, and his benevolent father, who in time develops Parkinson’s Disease and dies. The chameleon-like Dickinson and Tam also appear as people who attempt to help him stop drinking and people who attempt him to resume. They pop up all over scenic designer Lawrence E. Moten III’s classroom with its large, repeatedly used blackboard.