The Size of the World

By Charles Everedredtwist theatre

Directed by Adam Goldstein

At Redtwist theatre, Chicago

Quirky three-hander finds folks living in their own world

Playwright Charles Evered finds a weird world view that finds Peter Hogancamp (the engaging  Matt Edmonds) living in a world of his own where Dale Carnegie meets those positive thinkers that exude enough affirmations to delude a realities world view in his play The Size of the World.   Peter thinks big–he is an unemployed public speaker whose stardust ideas and ambitious plans together with is unbridled enthusiasm charm the two elderly couple whose home he rents a room near a New Jersey big city. Hogancamp is part Walter Mitt and very much Willy Loman with grandiose plans for success. He is touchy and wound a tad too tight as he easily explodes when rattled.

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His new landlords are also dysfunctional as they lead lonely lives that defy reality. Stan Merkle (Sandy Elias) is blind but his wife Vivian tells Peter to never tell Stan that he is blind. Vivian (Mary Poole) has a home where most things are an illusion. The dog is only a tape recording (since he died years ago) and the tree in the backyard is only a stump.  The couple waits for word or a call from their son Scott that never comes.

The three live in a world devoid of reality as each interact to fuel each others delusions.  Peter talks up a storm and Stan bellows at him as Vivian acts as peacemaker and facilitator to both.  As Peter plays out his dream of giving seminars at hotels, Vivian and Stan keep their fantasy game going now with Peter’s aspirations in play. The result is funny and poignant look at how life’s obsessions and self delusions can over come reality. The time spent with these three offers lessons in the meaning of what makes up one person’s world. Can we actually live and function in a reality of our own?  We witness how coping with what makes us who we are now can so overwhelm us that we create events and ides for our survival. 

Matt Edmonds is terrific as the fast-talking dreamer with Mary Poole and Sandy Elias quite effective as his foils. The Size of the World is a quirky drama that captures our interest and holds us as we wonder what will happen to Peter and the elderly couple.  This play is a fine off-night entertainment.

Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2014

For more info checkout The Size of the World page at theatreinchicago.com

At Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, Il, call 773-728-7529, www.redtwist.org, tickets $20, seniors/students $5 off,  Saturdays at 3pm, Sunday 7 mondays at 7:30 pm, running time is 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission, through September 1, 2014

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Redtwist Theatre

1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave ,Chicago, IL 60660