Just where the responsibility lies for the human condition is what Callie explores and attempts to answer. Can the observer divorce himself from the cause of his distress?
Spending a great deal of time critiquing God on how well he performs his duties, Callie questions the tragedies that seem pointless. He further maintainsthat it appears the Lord created man and then nodded off for a few thousand years.
While waiting to “move on,” Callie clutches at memories from his past as he seeks answers. Everything he does on stage is natural and free, filled with expressive abandon. Callie’s funniest moments are the “takes” he gives himself at what leaps out of his mouth.
His family recollections include his parents’ obsessive concern over his not talking before age 3 — he was just shy — and what he recalls as his first erection, attained on the playground with a girl straddling and beating the daylights out of him. All in all, Callie is pretty pragmatic: “I can’t cry over spilt milk; I’ve done that.”
Callie’s over-the-top performance elicits a tidal wave of laughter as well as many absolutely silent moments of pathos from the audience. His is the story of survival, and everyone’s been there to some extent.
He spends much of the show at fever-pitch, and guidance from director Jana Robbins might have spared her actor and provided more depth through variety. But her direction succeeds astutely as Callie makes it evident how his experiences led him to this turn.
Why there is a program credit for set design (by the Mystery Men Inc.) is a mystery in itself — the stage is bare except for a pair of modular blocks. Lou Powers’ lighting effectively shifts space and mood.