BasBleu theatre in Fort Collins Colorado opened the 2020 year with a one act play about family and faith “The Best Brothers” written by Daniel MacIvor and directed by Lynn Bogner. This intricately played black comedy is at the BasBleu theatre here in Fort Collins through Feb 23rd. Featuring two actors, Jeffrey Bigger who plays Hamilton Best, and Kevin Crowe plays the other brother Kyle Best. “This play reminds us that love can come in many forms and romantic love is not the end-all-be-all” says the director Maclover; he also explains this mini-journey of a non-romantic love for a deceased mother will hit home for many. Two brothers make funeral arrangements for their dead mother.
This play is perfect for those who would like a little bit of black comedy to chuckle at and see a gay themed progressive play. There are many comedy scenes scattered throughout the play and one of the two brothers is gay and the other is just as controlling. The story is built around the death of their mother who died at a LGBT parade, and the concept of a rainbow lifestyle is brought up many times throughout the 80 min One act. Playwright MacIvor past work has been powerful monologue performance including Here Lies Henry, Monster, and his first multicharacter play Marion Bridge. The Best Brothers is his is first black comedy and it almost works.
In this story the two brothers are in the housing industry, one of them, Hamilton, is a house designer and the queer brother Kyle is a real-estate agent. They hear the news of their mothers death over a telephone call in the middle of their jobs. The play creatively shows the foil of characters between the brothers as they hear the news. Kyle says, “Why do you humiliate me?” and Hamilton replies “Because you make it so easy.” These two lines show the great contrast between the two. Kyle is very nonchalant about their mother dying, wanting to use the funeral as a way to pass out his business cards. And Hamilton is deeply saddened by the passing of their mother. Hamilton handles the news in a different fashion than Kyle. This is where the arc of the play takes place. The characters do not develop throughout the story, rather the audience finds out more details about the differentiating characteristics of the two siblings through their conversations.
Shay Dite did a phenomenal job creating the amazing set which showed half of each brother’s living room in their separate apartments. Both these rooms were overlooking the beautiful skyline of Toronto, Canada through large “windows” in the wall. The Toronto skyline backdrop was also lit up in a very creative manner to match either the mood of the scene or the time period. When it was night, it was a dark blue, when it was the evening, it glowed of a sunset orange. Both halves of the set representing the two apartments were designed to align with the characteristics of each brother. Annie Ann Tran, the props master is responsible for matching the props within the rooms such as the paintings on the wall to match the characters’ own personalities.
Bigger plays as the straight brother, his stage experience acquired from acting in many plays throughout his career. In this play, their acting stands out more than anything else thanks to these two amazing performers. Their authenticity was impressive and very admirable. Maybe even more than Bigger, Crowe’s ability stands slightly taller. Crowe, has a BA in acting and has studied theater extensively. In addition, he also teaches theater at CU and UNC which are both universities here in Colorado. His mass expanse of experience helps him portray his character in an authentic and very tenure-oriented way.
Bigger and Crowe have to alternatively portray their mother “Bunny” in an initially confusing but very creative fashion. The mother gives the audience many monologues to show her unlikable character and how she wasn’t the best mom to her two boys. They both share props to change into the mother’s character. White silk gloves, big round spectacles, and a brown flashy hat with a pearl in the middle. But the motherly monologues did not serve much to the overall theme of the story, it only gave background information and it revealed her ugly characteristics. “I loved Hamilton best and Kyle hardest,” is one of Bunny’s many lines to show the unfair sharing of love between her and her two sons.
“The Best Brothers” was MacIvor's first attempt at a comedy and like most debuts, it didn’t go so well. The story lacked a theme, or a strong message for the audience to bring home with them. There was almost no conclusion as it was sudden and unexpected. Various parts near the ending were weak and uninteresting. A grand message was expected by many to be revealed at the end but this failed to do so.
This show ends this weekend FEB 23RD so be sure to visit the web site and
Check this play out -- it closes this Sunday and the tickets a good deal.
GO SEE A SHOW
BAS BLUE THEATRE PRESENTS
“The Best Brothers”
Written by Daniel MacIvor
Directed by Lynn Bogner
MUST CLOSE FEB 23RD
RUNS 80 MIN
BAS BLUE THEATRE
401 Pine St
Fort Collins, Colorado 80524