Theatre Review: “Brew”
Stage B Theatre Company’s, Brew: Locally Grown Stories from the Richmond Coffee Community, written by Ian Page features a colorful cast of character’s based on real observations from local baristas.
An added touch making this play unique is the use of an actual coffeeshop to host the new theatre company’s second production. Globehopper on Main St. provides an authentic, charming, neighborhood feel as a backdrop.
Throughout the hour and ten minute show we are introduced to a wide array of character’s coming and going throughout the workday of Gina, played by Maggie McGrann and Scott, played by Tony Sanchez.
Director Thomas Callan chose to have the actors play several characters each, with a couple actors playing as many as four different parts. The play starts with Gina getting broken up with by her stereotypical frat-boy, selfish, narcissistic, boyfriend first thing in the morning.
Her quirky co-worker Scott spends the rest of the day trying to make Gina feel better. Scott and Gina have a sweet dynamic. Anyone familiar with working in a coffeeshop — or a even a regular — can relate to their relationship.
Louie, played by Curt Gavin, lives to be miserable and critical about anything and everything. Impossible to satisfy, he’s still a devoted regular customer. His devotion obviously baffles Scott. The bickering about the amount of tomatoes to put on Louie’s tuna melt is hilarious.
Andrew Huffman plays the role of host at the coffee shop’s open mic night, as well as its only performer. At first it was a bit hard to tell what exactly was going on. The interjection of Huffman’s first comedic set felt a little out of place, mainly because he never had any interaction with Gina or Scott until the end of the play, and talked mainly to the audience. But, that aside, Huffman’s delivery was impeccable and hilarious despite the not-so-smooth transition. While awkward at first, Huffman’s performance turned into one of the show’s highlights.
Page did an impressive job capturing the often bizarre behavior of coffeeshop regulars as well as several other stereotypical customers passing through for their daily fix: the homeless guy, the hungover, college students, the bickering mother and daughter, the dude on the cell phone, the “Starbucks” customer, and your everyday disgruntled Joe.
“Brew” plays GlobeHopper Coffeehouse & Lounge, 2100 E. Main St., through Nov. 20. For tickets and showtimes, click here.
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.
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