Jaston Williams, star and creator of the famous “Tuna Texas Trilogy or Quad if you include “Tune Does Vegas” has brought some of the sordid and emotional stories of his life long career in the theatre to life in his one man show, “Maid Marian In A Stolen Car” now on stage at Zach Theatre. With the help of Director extraordinaire Sarah Richardson of the world famous Rude Mechanicals , the production team and Mr. Williams have created not only an entertaining and heartwarming show but a show that reaches out to all the senses.
Some of the stories as so outrageous you know they have to be true because who could make this stuff up! Then there are others where the humor is overshadowed by the depth of emotion and the reality of the impact that theatre and the arts have on people’s lives. Mr. Williams shows how sometimes we as the “cultured” forget the little things that theatre does, I was in tears by the end of the first act both from laughing and crying. When Williams tells the story of the Cotton Bowl High School performance of Hamlet that led the rough and rowdy teens to silence and tears you can’t help but want to do anything you can to keep the arts alive in our schools, especially the impoverished.
In the Second Act Williams tells a bit more into how the successful and irreplaceable characters of the “Tuna” shows were created well some of them, he goes on to tell some wonderful heartwarming stories about his time on the road with the “Tuna Crew.”
But I think my favorite part of the night is when he calls his friend and dresser “Joan” to the stage and thanks her and all of the other “techie” and people “Just beyond the reach of the curtains” for their often overlooked contributions to the theatre. Reminding all of us “Theatre People” be it actor, director, patron, teacher or artist what would we do without our stage managers, stage hands, light board operators or box office workers.
Speaking of the technical artist, this show is jam packed with well thought scenic lighting design, while simple the properties designed by Scott Groh are spot on and impactful, while the scenic design conceptualized by the productions Director Sarah Richardson is a storyboard of ideas, symbolism, and humor. Lastly the lighting by design by Jason Amato, Aka “The Lighting God” is a perfect complement to the stories, setting, and point of the evening.
Jaston Williams has created a show that few people will fully understand and appreciate, all will enjoy it, but not all will understand the brevity of raw emotion and vulnerability that Mr. Williams leaves on the stage each night. This is an opportunity that few theatre practitioners get to have, and Mr. Williams takes every opportunity to relish and cherish it. Thank you Mr. Williams for once again inspiring a young theatre artist to keep up the good fight!
This show is a MUST SEE for Theatre Artist, Lovers, and Friends. 6 out of 5 stars! Best new play of the decade!