Hell on wheels

Nealshow Productions premieres Pat Radke’s and Dave Satterwhite’s malaprop-fueled road-trip comedy. Candyce (Lee Satterwhite), in WWI helmet and goggles, is at the wheel of a middle-school-art-project stand-in for an automobile. While nominally a rideshare driver, he doesn’t seem to be especially savvy about geography, money making, or anything worldly. Candyce is going through some sort of existential crisis, which is exacerbated by frequent solipsistic phone calls from his very Boomer dad, Barney (Scott Minches), and a succession of bizarre talk-radio and off-kilter music that often comes off as his inner monologue.

The Coming Out Party
Through 6/25: Thu-Sat 8 PM; Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis, nealshowproductions.website, $20.

When he picks up his first (and only) fare things get even screwier. Pat (Leslie Halverson) and Dave (Gail Harder) are in the midst of their own psychodrama before hopping into Candyce’s cab and making it a circus on wheels. While gender ambiguity certainly undergirds many of the exchanges between these three troubled souls, the most winning aspect of the play is its assault on language. Pat, especially, is fond of using stock phrases incorrectly, but everyone who speaks takes familiar expressions and mangles them in hilarious and sometimes memorable ways. Coleman Zurkowski’s original music contributes to the near-recognizable but just off vibe of the entire piece by blending dance, pop, and Kraut rock into a fitting soundtrack for the journey that this trio is on. I could’ve done without the predictably dark ending, but it’s a hell of a ride before they get there.

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