January 22, 2008
The dark comedy "End Days" is currently onstage at the Phoenix Theatre. The show explores the inner workings of one of America's many dysfunctional familes.
The family, originally from New York City, fell to pieces after Sept. 11, 2001. The father was thrown into a deep depression; the mother found solace from her insurmountable fears through faith; and their daughter, Rachel, has embraced the Goth look and an angry demeanor.
The cast does a great job with the high-strung characters. They demonstrate teen angst, fanatical beliefs and quiet inner struggle with ease.
Matthew Van Oss plays an Elvis impersonating neighbor and brings hope and optimism to the show. He embodies a childlike sincerity. He's so in awe of the world around him, despite the personal tragedies he has endured, that others can't help but get caught up in his enthusiasm.
Stephen Hawking makes a cameo as a figment of Rachel's drug addled brain. His advice and straight man mockery make for the funniest scenes in the show. Matthew Roland pulls double duty portraying both Hawking and Jesus. The odd roles seem almost normal in his capable hands.
Even though the show parades as a comedy, it is a drama at heart. It is a touching look at family members finding each other and finding hope in the world.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Feb. 3 and offers four performances a week. Thursdays begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturdays begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets, call (317) 635-PLAY (7529). Prices are $15 for those 24 and under and $25 for those 25 and older.
For more information about the Phoenix Theatre, visit www.phoenixtheatre.org. The theater is located at 749 N. Park Avenue., Indianapolis, just off Massachusetts Avenue.
*Photo Courtesy of the Phoenix Theatre