“Good Boys And True” (Raven Theatre): Disquieting

Raven Theatre presents GOOD BOYS AND TRUE.

A leaked sex tape is scandalous.  Knowing the participants are minors is disturbing.  Realizing the girl is a victim escalates it to unconscionable.

Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa penned a thought-provoking tale.  At the crux of the play is a demoralizing sex tape making the rounds at an elite boys’ prep school.  Aguirre-Sacasa approaches the scandal from all angles.  Each of his six characters express their perspective from both an emotional and classist place.  Each reaction demonstrates humanity with a bite.  An aunt is concerned about the personal implications as a public school teacher.  The multiple layers of self-preservation is a strong theme in the aftermath of this deviant act.

Director Cody Estle creates a fishbowl environment.  He uses a traverse stage, where the audience is on two sides facing each other.  Scenic Designer Jeff Kmiec lines the stage endcaps with lockers and a bench.  Estle keeps his ensemble sidelined and observing until they step into their scene.  Their ongoing presence reenforces their past and future connection to this impropriety.

Estle unravels this story with an edginess.  The charismatic Will Kiley (Brandon) is accused of the wrongdoing.  His interactions with the steely Maggie Cain are gripping.  The tight mother-son bond is unsettling as they each reveal their zealous ambitions.  in their final scene together, Cain’s contrition is haunting.  Her last statement continues to echo in my head.  Estle facilitates each confrontation as purposeful. The tensions build. All the scenes fit together in this ‘who is responsible?’ puzzler.  A spunky Kelli Strickland (Maddie) and smart-alecky Derek Herman (Justin) deliver comedic relief in stressful moments.

Even though the concept of a video tape is dated, the constructs of this play are timeless.  People make life-changing decisions.  Sometimes deliberately.  Sometimes viciously.  The aftermath of that act can detrimentally impact innocent victims and even the next generation.  GOOD BOYS AND TRUE questions honor.  The unflappable answer is disquieting.

Running Time:  Two hours includes an intermission

At Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Directed by Cody Estle

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm

Sundays at 3:30pm

Thru May 3rd

Buy Tickets at www.raventheatre.com

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