The story actually begins 14 years before the current day when then young Chick Ford inexplicably stands up in court and pleads guilty to the murder of his girlfriend. All along he maintained his innocence yet he plead guilty and went off to prison.
As the show begins he arrives back home one day earlier than planned and faces a sea of hostility from his family. It doesn’t take long for the local news media to get involved because they believe a murderer has returned to their sleepy Midwestern town. One very harsh reality made very obvious is that Chick’s parents have fallen into poverty during the 14 years he was in prison and that condition only further exasperates the level of stress that engulfs Chick’s homecoming.
The interplay between Chick, his mom, his dad and Uncle Mike is boisterous, often hostile and nonstop leading ultimately to a crescendo at a brief pause for intermission. That there were several powerful dynamics in play full understanding was left unresolved until Act Two when among other astonishing reveals is the fact that Chick had indeed not committed the crime. But why then did he plead guilty? Well now for that you need to see the show and you truly should do so.
I will grant Act I was so dramatic and over the top with no obvious direction it at times felt as if we were watching a wild and perhaps pointless mess. But stick around because it all becomes blazingly clear as Act Two unfolds so when taking this show as a whole it is genuinely an outstanding presentation of theatre art.
While it is unlikely most people will have experienced every element found in this show everyone will have means of connection at some level making it truly relatable and therefore even more powerful. And while every player was superb I give a special nod to Rob Nagle as Uncle Mike, the kind of man you will love to hate.
Leave the children at home but otherwise go and enjoy Stupid Kid at The Road Theatre Company, 10747 Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood, California. Show times are: Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. For tickets either call 818-761-8838 or go online.
•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••
For other art take a look at: ronirwin.net
Photos by Brian Cole
Top photo: Taylor Gilbert, Joe Hart, Ben Theobald, Allison Blaze
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.