Rum and vodka is a miracle elixir, or so says the hard-drinking, shit-out -of-luck young man in Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s one-man play of the same name. No matter how low this guy slides, and believe me, he reaches some pretty low lows in his three day alcoholic bender, this concoction gives just the jolt he needs to surface again. The play is filled with remarkable detail—things that make your heart break even as you hear yourself laughing out loud. (Best example: The confrontation in the grocery store that has the man revealing to his wife that he’s lost his job. The scene is perfectly realized in words alone, from the clunk of the tuna can on the man’s eye to the baby skidding across the floor and hitting the lower shelf where the raisins sit.) Matthew Gorman is a remarkable actor. In the wrong hands, this character would be simply a self-centred, despicable drunk, but Gorman imbues him with charm and vulnerability that makes his behavior almost understandable, although certainly not excusable. Though you may be fringe-weary, I highly recommend one more trip to The Bus Stop this week to see a brilliant actor in a brilliant play.
Rum and Vodka plays September 17 to September 20 at The Bus Stop Theatre at 8pm. Tickets are $15. Sunday-Pay What You Can.