The Mike and Morgan Show, a production from the 5C student theater group, Bottom Line Theater (BLT), had its first show on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Directed by Alex Genty-Waksberg PO ’15, the play is, as advertised, “a play about a boy who loses a girl and can’t let her go. So he writes a play about her. This play.”
From the first moments inside the theater, it was clear that this was not a standard Seaver Theatre production. The majority (if not the entirety) of the audience members were students and there was loud cheering when the lights went down for the play to begin. And even before the show, the 90s music (think Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and Green Day’s “Good Riddance”) playing in the background had everyone jamming.
The play was performed in the Seaver Large Studio, an intimate space just right for a production that makes an effort to connect with its audience. The Mike and Morgan Show wouldn’t have had the same effect in a larger space and, in fact, probably would have come across as a lot less meaningful.
Tim Reynolds PO ’15 and Mary Kamitaki PO ’15 play Mike and Morgan, respectively, as well as each of the minor characters that float in and out of the narrative—like Mike’s parents, for example. The narrative itself floats around in time. The play is set a few years after Mike loses Morgan, and he writes the play in an attempt to hold on to her. He tells us the story of Mike and Morgan by looking mostly at the last night they spent together and the various memories they discussed over the course of that night. But he also imagines Morgan in the present talking with him, and occasionally addresses the audience.
Reynolds and Kamitaki seamlessly transition from setting to setting and character to character, never confusing the audience about who they are or when the action takes place. This is an impressive feat in a play that has so many changes and so few actors. They also effectively deliver the comic lines (provided by the writer of The Mike and Morgan Show, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, a comedian and writer based in New York City and, incidentally, the director’s cousin).
Of course, there were plenty of serious moments. Kamitaki and Reynolds made us laugh loudly, but they also made everyone fall silent. Some audience members had tears in their eyes. Neither actor has the skills of a professional, but they both conveyed raw emotion, which, in a play like this, really strengthens the performance.
The Mike and Morgan Show is a play about a boy who loses a girl, but it is also a play about love and friendship. It’s a play about making mistakes and letting go, and it’s a play about forgetting and remembering. But mostly, it’s a play about living and changing and the fact that no matter how hard you try, sometimes things just don’t make sense. This is a play that will make you laugh, but it will also make you think.
The Mike and Morgan Show plays again today, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. in the Seaver Large Studio—and it’s free!