×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Ice Pick

Opened, reviewed March 15, 1994; runs through April 19.

Opened, reviewed March 15, 1994; runs through April 19.

Peter … Michael Latimer

Michael … Doug Spearman

Tim, a Counselor, Man at Party … Stanton Schnepp

As part of the Shoestring Series in the Celebration Theatre’s first subscription season, the world premiere of John Roman Baker’s romantic drama “The Ice Pick” receives a fair mounting, sporting a strong cast under the talented guidance of director Jason Jacobs.

The presentation’s shortcoming is rooted in Baker’s redundant text. After offering an interesting premise and thoroughly examining both sides of the conflict, the play spends the rest of the evening chasing its own tail.

Peter (Michael Latimer) and Michael (Doug Spearman) meet through an HIV/AIDS support group and become romantically involved.

As Peter develops infections, he increasingly withdraws, leaving Michael frustrated and hurt.

Tempers become volatile, misunderstandings erupt, but in the end, Michael and Peter find a hopeful refuge in each other’s arms. With adroit direction decisions, Jacobs bonds his cast intricately in an emotional tug-of-war.

Latimer makes a difficult transition from sexually aggressive hedonist to the frightened, internalizing Peter, with the actor’s choices demonstrating control and precision. In counterpoint, Spearman’s hopeful, innocent romantic often pulls on the aud’s heartstrings.

Stanton Schnepp plays each of his characters as separate entities.

The play’s limitations are exacerbated by the fact that Michael doesn’t even know his HIV status. Why Baker chose not to make Michael negative and explore that dynamic — or at least examine the implications of his remaining untested — is a mystery. What we’re left with is a 90-minute one-act that should have ended 45 minutes earlier.

The Ice Pick

(Celebration Theatre, Hollywood; 65 seats; $ 10 top)

Production: The Celebration Theatre and Red Sneaker Prods. present a play in one act by John Roman Baker. Director, Jason Jacobs; producer, T.C. Murov.

Creative: Lights, Michael Shere.

More Legit

  • Beetlejuice review

    Broadway Review: 'Beetlejuice'

    “Such a bold departure from the original source material!” wisecracks the odd-looking fellow sitting on a coffin at the start of the Broadway musical “Beetlejuice.” The weird, nasty and outrageous title character is talking about a short lament just sung by a sad teen at her mother’s gravesite, as he breaks the fourth wall (“Holy [...]

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Ink review

    Broadway Review: 'Ink' With Jonny Lee Miller

    Garish, lurid and brash, “Ink,” the British import now on Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production, is the theatrical equivalent of its subject, the UK’s Daily Sun — the newspaper that reshaped British journalism and propelled Rupert Murdoch’s ascent to media mogul. Like the tabloid, it feels unsubstantial, rushed and icky. You can’t say [...]

  • All My Sons review

    London Theater Review: 'All My Sons' With Sally Field, Bill Pullman

    If “All My Sons” is showing its age, it sure shows no signs of abating. Just days after a major revival opened on Broadway, moving Annette Bening and Tracy Letts into the Tony zone, up the play pops in London. The Old Vic has arguably secured the starrier cast, too: Bill Pullman and Sally Field [...]

  • Tootsie review

    Broadway Review: 'Tootsie'

    The new Broadway adaptation of “Tootsie” is old-fashioned and proud of it — and it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser, in this musical spin on the 1982 film comedy with Santino Fontana in the Dustin Hoffman role. Robert Horn (book) and Tony-winner David Yazbek (score) have a high old time poking fun at theatrical rituals — the [...]

  • Kelli O'Hara

    Listen: How Kelli O'Hara Brings #MeToo to 'Kiss Me, Kate'

    “Kiss Me, Kate” is one of the best-known titles in musical theater. But in this day and age, the “Taming of the Shrew”-inspired comedy’s depiction of the gender dynamic seems downright, well, problematic. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Kelli O’Hara is well aware of that, and so were her collaborators on the Roundabout Theatre [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content