Metropolis: “Thinking With Your Head…Men Exposed”

With the title, “Thinking with Your Head…Men Exposed,” it would be easy to dismiss the Metropolis’ original comedy as just another “Hangover” knock-off.

But that would be a big mistake. This all-male cast will have you feeling just as good the morning after as you do at final curtain.

Written by Metropolis resident writer, Scott Woldman, the play was the first offering of Arlington Height’s Metropolis Performing Arts Centre’s After Dark Comedy Series six years ago. Woldman does more than make us laugh, he makes us think and feel for the characters he creates.

Told through the individual tales of eight friends, the stories emerge organically and playfully as we come to know the characters and their relationships. Laughs keep coming throughout, perfectly timed to release the audience from some of the more tender moments of bonding and revelation.  All of the stories are comic, but each delve into larger themes and universal questions about love, marriage, friendships, and the relationship between past and future.

The play is exceptionally well cast. Kevin Kurasch is likeable and believable as the cold-footed groom, and Sean Walsh is delightfully despicable as “that guy” everyone knows who always finds the dirty joke in every statement.  David Weiss, as the lovable stoner, misses a few opportunities to really seize his monologue, but is impeccable in his character work and fascinating to watch at any moment during the play, holding tight to the world of his character.  Knife-wielding Brandon Galatz also gives a multi-dimensional performance as the soft-hearted tough guy who is revealed to be a fiercely genuine best friend.

What makes this play more than just a themed monologue show is the relationship between the men and the staging that weaves it all together. Hats off to director David Belew, who manages to get 8 guys to move around the stage with such finesse and fine-tuning that it can only be considered choreography.  As monologues are delivered, the other actors are engaged in interesting ‘business’ that is never distracting, but is in itself entertaining to watch. There are glances between listeners, eyes rolled, pantomimed jokes, mimicry, food thrown; the sort of antics that exist in a room full of old friends telling stories.  It not only heightens the story, but makes you want to see it again so you can watch from a different angle next time.

Fridays and Saturdays August 3-September 1 – 10:15PM
Tickets $20
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
111 W Campbell Street
Downtown Arlington Heights
www.metopolisarts.com