Review by Turan Koyuncu
The Fresh Fruit Festival celebrates 15th years at the Wild Project this summer and their season is a quality one. Custody opened the festival. Custody, directed by Patrick Aran and featuring Drew Bolander (as Ted Behr), Keith Herron (as Peter Pine), Sam Durant Hunter (as Brendan Barry), and Anne Pasquale as Shannon Bryant. Custody tells the story of a straight woman in love with a gay man and the straight man who wanted to be more like the gay man so the straight woman would love him. Or something like that.
Custody entertains thanks to the clever, realistic dialogue and a plot that mirrors myriad philosophies of the 90s through today.
So, Brendan and Shannon used to date but now Brendan is gay with Ted but Brendan still visit Shannon as “best friends”. Now Shannon is dating Peter and Peter is skeptical and anxious on Brendan and Shannon relationship. Therefor, Peter tries to be more like gay men to get Shannon to love him back. The script hands us the parable of how love knows no bounds … or sex … particularly. The play took “custody” of the audience with moments of depth and humor.
The ensemble cast carried the show splendidly. Fine acting and total commitment to detail and great heads for comedy made for an excellent showing. Patrick Aran worked with his actors to create visually enjoyable storytelling as well.
Mild moments of line stumbling by Hunter but quick recoveries allowed for no break in pace. Although he stumped in a few spots his antic body movement and gestures were phenomenal.
The set of the play custody was very fitting to the theme of the mid 1990’s. Electric pink and neon blues then replaced by crimson red and when mixed into fight scenes between Shannon, Peter, and Bernard. Costumes and make-up also told us we are in a story over two decades ago. The mustaches helped convince us as well.
I neglected to mention the wood doll, maybe becasue after a point … she just seemed real.