Man Saved by Condiments!
nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
February 23, 2012
Man Saved By Condiments by Mary Jo Pehl is based on the true story of a Midwestern man, Steve (Tim Uren), whose car goes off the road, leaving him with a broken hip and forced to wait for rescue.
What does he eat until help arrives? Packets of ketchup and mayonnaise that have accumulated in his car.
Don't laugh; 90 calories (90 from fat) are exactly what Steve needs once the snow starts falling.
Perhaps what is most astounding for Steve (and maybe for any of us in this situation) is how to face himself alone without technology. His radio is dying. He can no longer listen to his Faith Hill CD.
It is now 9:30; how much longer until lunch? There is still time to fantasize about the possibility of meeting Faith Hill in person, and to think back on that trip to the Wisconsin Dells years ago.
French vanilla non-dairy creamer is too "gay" so it gets thrown out the window. But those "gay" calories could have come in useful.
Nevertheless, the mood throughout the piece is joyous. Minnesota's Theatre Arlo, according to their mission statement, wants to warp, de-glamorize, and reinterpret each production by limiting cost (no more than $50 on set, props and costumes).
It works! The set is a chair with a bagful of food garbage thrown over it. It is also a good commentary on the disposable nature of our society.
Tim Uren carries the many moods of the show quite well. His past collaborations with director Bill Stiteler, such as Macbeth: The Video Game Remix, have resulted in the good working relationship we see in the current show.