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Review: T.I.C. Trenchcoat in Common @ Main Stage West Sebastopol – by Harry Duke


Review: “T.I.C. (Trenchcoat in Common)”
@ Main Stage West Sebastopol
– by Harry Duke 

“All adults hide things.” - says the “Kid” in Main Stage West’s current production of “T.I.C. (Trenchcoat in Common)”, running now through June 29 on their Sebastopol stage.  But in this day and age of mini-cams, cell phones, Facebook and You Tube, can anyone really hide anything anymore?  Is privacy a quaint notion of the past?

Such are some of the questions raised by Bay Area playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb within this comedy, and yes, it is a comedy.  After a season of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, personal obsessions, and the birth of the labor movement, it’s nice for MSW to present something a little lighter in vein. Still, there are those questions…

Ive Rose Miller, Rick HillThe play is a snapshot of a few weeks in the life of a kid (Ivy Rose Miller) who has been forced to move in with her biological father (Rick Hill) after the sudden death of her mother.  They reside in a San Francisco tenancy-in-common unit (a condo) where the kid soon finds herself lonely and bored. She sequesters herself in her room, begins to notice the people around her, and starts to blog about it. Besides her gay-porn-obsessed “seed source” of a father, the other tenants provide plenty of fodder for her musings as she installs a series of webcams to capture them and all their idiosyncrasies.

There’s Claudia (Jacquelyn Wells), a self-medicating-to-the-max aging flower-child who isn’t sure what her latest cause wants but knows they want it now. Sabra (Dana Scott) is the newest tenant who seems to have made a lot of bad choices in life and continues to do so. Shye (Trevor Phillips) is a trust fund brat who claims to be terminally ill and seems intent on spending what’s left of his life composing terrible songs and being pissed off at his neighbors. Finally, there’s Terrance, who spends his time at his window wearing nothing but shoes, socks, a trenchcoat and a baseball cap.  An old school flasher who proudly comes from “a family of exhibitionists”, Terrance longs for the day when his behavior would be considered shocking and titillating instead of a source of tourist photos.

All their lives intersect when one character goes missing and the Kid suspects foul play. Quicker than you can say “Scooby Doo” she breaks out of the comfort and safety of her room and pairs up with Terrance to investigate. Hilarity ensues – hilarity that involves an ax, a duffel bag, secret identities and some explosives.  

The Cast of T.I.C. (Trenchcoat in Common)

Director Sheri Lee Miller has gathered a plucky cast who inhabit their quirky characters well.   Led by Ms. Miller as the spirited teen, fine support is provided by all. Noteworthy are Mr. Phillips, making his first appearance on the Main Stage West stage, for making his character so obnoxious and yet curiously likeable, and Ms. Scott for a particularly effective bit of physical theatre towards the end of the show.

Attempting to be a bit more profound than it actually is, “T.I.C. (Trenchcoat in Common)” manages to wrap its social commentary up in a pretty amusing package.   There is something slightly surreal, however, about watching a show about the voyeuristic nature of modern life.

And speaking of voyeurism, if you make it to this show, be sure to stick around to the very end.  You know how movies these days sometimes have a “stinger” after the end credits have rolled? Well, be prepared to be stung.

T.I.C. (Trenchcoat in Common)

Thu/Fri/Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 5pm through June 29th

Thursdays are “Pay What You Will” nights

Main Stage West
104 N Main St
Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 823-0177

Photo Credit - Ilana Niernberger

Harry Duke Live Theater Reviews