Playwright: Trevor Anthony Pitzel
At: Clay Frog Productions at Stage Left
Phone: (312) 545-3170; $10-15
Runs through: Aug. 7
Steff, Ryan, Nathan and Kevin are best friends, passing many a lazy summer night gazing at the stars and delving the mysteries of the universe. But then Nathan's bicycle is struck by a car as he hurries home. On that same evening, Ryan sustains a lethal concussion at the hands of his ill-tempered father. Soon thereafter, a Heavenly Messenger informs the comrades, both living and dead, that they have been granted 24 hours' farewell leave (allowing for the differences in time zones) before parting company for all eternity.
In another kind of play, Ryan would call on his companions to protect his mother from her abusive spouse, or Nathan muster an investigation of his fatal accident. But since these buddies are only 17, they do what teenage boys do, given a free—if brief—ride: they skinny-dip at the beach, they go to a baseball game, they flirt with girls at a dance palace and banter with the waitress at a strip club. Mostly, however, they affirm their fraternal allegiance, each repeatedly assuring the other of his worthiness, their oaths of fealty accompanied with appropriately manly hugs.
The casual potty-mouth language characteristic of adolescent American males (in fiction, anyway) notwithstanding, Your Time Will Come has the symposic structure of a chamber-play for Christian Youth audiences. Anthony, the angel-surrogate, several times reminds the lads how lucky they are to be favored by 'someone of considerable influence'. Ryan forgives his father in what would be submissive denial if their dysfunctional relationship were to continue. Neither our hormonally-robust heroes nor we ever see the strippers. And the boys, while engaging in jocular speculations on the nature of their mutual affection, are relentlessly heterosexual.
Trevor Anthony Pitzel's meandering scenario has all the earmarks of a bereaved survivor's struggle to come to terms with the inevitable fate of all mortals. (Specifically, the author reveals in a program note, the death of a friend whose name is shared by one of his play's personae.) But the sum of his explorations make only for an exhortation to 'Live each day as if it were the last'—counsel perhaps not original, but good advice nonetheless.