Get thee to the theater, please: 'Tigers Be Still' thrilling, funny, sweet & real

I know, I know, my name's not Dana (Oland) and I'm not the Statesman's -- or anybody else's for that matter -- theater critic.

But every so often I feel obligated to suggest something readers shouldn't miss. For regulars who have a sense of my sensibilities, I think this advice is solid gold: Go to one of the remaining eight performances of Boise Contemporary Theater's "Tigers Be Still."

I saw the show Thursday night and came home elated, though the play is about a bunch of depressed people, four of whom you see, one you only hear.

If you have feelings, have ever been on an extended adventure with melancholy, like dogs, or cats, kids, art, laughter, I think you’ll enjoy it.

The playwright, Kim Rosenstock, also writes for FOX’s “New Girl.” This play explores how to put one foot in front of another and keep on keeping on.

Thursday’s audience included a bunch of notable people. Without naming names, they included leading lawyers, academics, titans of business, a Hollywood type, and the sweetest-there-ever-was sister of a very-long-ago girlfriend of mine. We all liked it, or at least seemed to as we stood to applaud a cast at the top of their game.

I don’t know if it’s related to the story being shadowed by an escaped tiger, but this cast seems hungry, in the way actors do when they really care about their characters.

Arthur Glen Hughes, as a grieving husband and dad, is a BCT regular, and was his reliably fabulous self. Slightly edgy, but approachable, he’s got the middle school principal down. (Though if his new hire, Sherry, played by Lina Chambers, said a whisper to HR about his touching her, he’d be in the Superintendent’s office tout suite).

Chambers, a Boise State grad, is an Idaho Shakespeare Festival regular, making her BCT debut. To see her in the intimacy of the small theater is to not be able to take your eyes off her brittle, brave, indomitable character. Though she’s with us for all but a few minutes of the 90-minute, no-intermission show, she never stops being Sherry. Not for a moment.

Cassie Moloney plays Grace, Sherry’s older sister, who is struggling with a breakup, despite her ex being a complete dolt. She cradles her Jack Daniels and makes hilariously pathetic phone calls. And then she finds her way out of the dark in a way that just might help the rest of us. Also in her BCT debut, Moloney is newly settled in Boise and I’m eager to see what she’ll do next. (She needs to lose the California plates, though!)

Evan Sesek, another BSU grad, plays Zack. Sesek looks like a kid but acts like someone who’s lived a lot. You may remember him from “Norway” two seasons ago, when he was brilliant. Zack is sad and angry and trying forgive himself. Sweet-faced but complex, he’s a joy to watch.

So, try and get to see this fine play and great cast. There’s a show Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8. Next week, Wednesday through Friday at 8, and Saturday at 2 and 8. Tickets are available at the link above.

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