Overcoming conflict, seeking the truth and "coming out" as an individual are the challenging themes tackled during Plan B Theatre Company's latest production "Borderlands."
The imposing set of topics are handled neatly and powerfully, courtesy of playwright Eric Samuelsen's witty, fast-paced script.
"Borderlands" is a difficult, emotional work with a slightly implausible ending that nonetheless is deeply effective. The four characters in the play, Dave, Gail, Phyllis and Brian all become more interwoven and their lives congeal into an emotional climax that viewers of the play aren't likely to forget. The play shines largely due to the strong, quick-stepping dialogue between the characters involved in its initial focus, Dave and Gail. Dave, a down-on-his-luck Provo car salesman is able to slowly build a friendship between himself and Gail, a soon-to-be-divorced LDS woman who has come to Dave's lot to buy a car. Sitting in what they eventually label the "honesty car," the pair - they're not a couple - relate and stumble upon parallel struggles they're having in their lives concerning their beliefs. Dave works at the lot under the watchful eye of his ailing sister Phyllis, who is played with strength and some much-needed warmth by Teri Cowan. Brian, smartly portrayed by Topher Rasmussen, is a tormented car-loving gay teen sent to Utah to live with Gail, his aunt. He eventually comes into conflict with Phyllis, an ardent LDS church-goer. The quartet of characters are each battling their own major issues, but rather than reaching a heavy-handed conclusion, the script provides air and time for each of the characters to emerge in their own way as their problems culminate. The dramatic climax is something you won't want to miss - neither is its witty, well-crafted dialogue.
The play continues this weekend, but each of these performances is sold out. However, tickets remain on sale for shows on April 9-10. Also, the strong ticket sales have prompted Plan B to add a 6 p.m. show on April 10.