Reviewed by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
There is probably something important in Morgan Gould’s “Losing Tom Pecinka” currently running at the New Ohio Theater as part of this year’s Ice Factory but whatever that might be is buried beneath layers of self-effacing (and self-absorbed) puerile humor that resembles a mashup of the worst Saturday Night Live sketches and the dreariest of daytime soap operas both replete with cartoon-like characters who scramble around the stage searching for an ending. And, yes, that is part of the point. Viewers and audiences invest in many forms of theatre that do not warrant notice. And yes, MFAs and BAs in theatre do not guarantee performance excellence (obviously) or satisfying employment in academia. But the antics in “Losing Tom Pecinka” do not allow its audience to mine the importance of the text. The apparent “hey, I got it” laughter from Morgan Gould & Friends fans and family further muddies the waters of understanding. One of these “fans” laughed at every line of the play. It was not that funny.
Ms. Gould’s script riffs all things theatre including opening announcements, curtain calls, intermissions, set design, etc. Theatre-goers get that, understand that, and might even chuckle about it. But there is nothing in “Losing Tom Pecinka (who buy the way, is alive and well) that moves that discussion forward or brings those insights to some new level of discernment.