TX: Six actors (Tara Chocol, April Grace, Andrew Hawkes, Reggie Hayes, Loren Lazerine and Laura Kellogg Sandberg) play a variety of roles in 22 scenes.
It starts with a religious couple who try to convert the driver as he takes them to their church, the Pillar of Fire.
In quick succession come a stoned couple, the owner of a chain of delis with his mistress and a young woman who picks up her violent-tempered boyfriend on the rough side of the city.
While all the scenes engage, there are a few highlights, including a woman in labor (Grace) who’s screaming a variety of hilarious expressions at her husband (Hayes), including, “I’m in pain, and it’s all your fault!”
Most gripping scene comes when a passenger (Hawkes) won’t give the cab driver an exact address, and takes him deep into the dark side of town.
Director Jennifer Markowitz is able to give a sense of urgency to the proceedings, creating action that lends a sense of people’s hopes and fears not evoked in the text.
Playwright Kern purposely does not give the cabbie a past or a future, let alone a name.
He just is. This driver picks up everyone and does what he’s told, though he does lash out when touched or provoked.
In the role, Dillon may appear dangerous, but he’s a gentle man. The cast is as expressive as Dillon, and they create new characters so thoroughly that it seems there’s a cast of 30.
Robert G. Smith’s roofless cab and his stark set design, in combination with Rick Peeple’s sound design and Peter Edward’s pools-of-light lighting, vividly create a cabbie roving a tough, somber city — a fabulous contrast to the irony and humor that come out.