Rodeo Town: A Review

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July 19, 2013

A married dentist named Richard, (Dustin Gooch) on his way by car to a dental conference breaks down in the desert and stumbles into a creepy place called RODEO TOWN.

A once thriving hub of the rodeo circuit, Rodeo Town is now deserted and has only has three residents that we know of, the Alpha male ranch owner,”Garth”Rodeo Town #2 (Eric Cire) the childlike, innocent “Kelly” (Dustin Bayers) and an angry guitar-playing middle-aged drunk, “Lonnie” (Harry Beer).

As he waits for his car to be fixed, our yuppie dentist is quickly sucked into Rodeo Town’s  macho society, with its twisted code of behavior, powered by excessive quantities of alcohol.

Richard has arrived just in time to witness and participate in Rodeo Town’s annual rite of passage: The one day of the year when women are brought into town so the men can enjoy  female companionship.

As the big night approaches, the guys argue and fight.  Power struggles ensue.  We learn a little bit about each character.  Richard’s wife hasn’t given him a blow job in five years, Garth may have served time for killing a man, Kelly mourn his best friend while Lonnie plays his guitar and drowns his sorrow in alcohol.

Why none of them find the strength to leave is never made clear, even though life in Rodeo Town is like an extended episode of “The Twilight Zone.”  An on-going hellish existence Rodeo Town #996that is played out day after day.

As the promised night of sex finally arrives, the  surprising reveal does not provide a happy ending.  Not for the characters nor for the audience.

Rodeo Town is disturbing and violent, it’s characters doomed from the minute the curtain rises.

Performances are mainly solid.  Dustin Bayers provides some welcome gentleness and has a strong stage presence while Dustin Gooch injects humor as the dentist.  Harry Beer is believable as the weathered Lonnie and Eric Cire find the right amount of menace as the man in charge.

Written by Graham Bowlin, directed by Cameron Strittmatter, Produced by Bellwether Bros. Theater Works Rodeo Town plays at the Flight Theatre at The Complex, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038.

WHEN: July 20- July 21, 2013 at 8 PM.

ADMISSION: $10.

RESERRVATIONS: (323) 455-4585.

ONLINE TICKETING: www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1198