I am everything. I have no flaws. I am beautiful, charming, and attractive to every person I meet. I am also a meth addict. These words, spoken by one man struggling with a new found addiction set the stage for the eccentric, yet earnest METHTACULAR!, a true story written and performed by Steven Strafford.
With his first hit of meth, Steven, a gay actor new to the Chicago theater scene finds his life take a turn for the worse. One hit opens dozens of doors to ruin which Steven has no choice but to enter. His lives for two things alone – drugs and anonymous flings with random strangers. In his struggle to escape this hell, Steven includes his own quirky humor to keep the tale humorous without satirizing his story. His tendency to tell his story with sarcasm was perfect. He showed multiple sides to his personality by sometimes laughing about his mistakes, while other times becoming consumed by the memory of them.
Unfortunately, the humor was taken a bit too far at moments, such as the “game shows” where random audience members were pulled up onstage to answer questions about drugs and the story. While these little interruptions helped to increase humor, they distracted from the general mood and flow of the show. Steven would have the entire audience at his fingertips emotionally, and then just let them slip away at these moments.
Nevertheless, Steven’s tale of self-worth and self-realization was delivered with raw, unflinching, painful honesty. Steven’s ability to talk plainly about the horrors of his life, the people that he met while trapped in Meth’s grasp, and the effect they had on his life gave a new perspective on the drug filled-dystopia many care not to think about. His story was the perfect blend of sarcastic humor and seriousness. The final performance will be this Saturday June 2nd at 9:00 at the Cincinnati Art Academy.
Review by Matthew Ruehlman