Waiting for the Sun, written, directed, and produced by Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley
To watch a vulnerable male lead on stage is captivating. To watch a vulnerable male lead who's just 21 years young and may not live until his thirties is not only captivating, it's original. What is most exciting and entertaining about the play Waiting for the Sun, written by husband-and-wife team Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley, is its main character's point of view.
Justin, played by the incredibly open Logan Roberts, is a college student whose muscles are wasting away. He suffers from Becker Muscular Dystrophy and lives his life in a wheelchair. Still, he fights the good fight by composing music and verbally sparring with his party-loving roommate, Zack (played by Michael Evan Werner, an actor with excellent comic timing and warmth).
When Zack leaves for a bash at their fraternity house, Justin receives a visitor – a surprise birthday present from his roommate. Exotic dancer Tiffany has been hired to spend the night with Justin. Unfortunately she has a wheelchair phobia, but this is only the first obstacle to getting Justin out of his wheelchair and into his birthday suit, so to speak.
Tiffany, played by the wonderfully nuanced and funny Emma Jean Delia is as vulnerable as her wheelchair-bound client. She has secrets, but so does Justin.
Watching the two of them interact and open each other up is entertaining and transforming as you feel you are unfolding along with their relationship. Tiffany's visit to Justin is her first venture from exotic dancer to “escort” and she is not comfortable with her task to sleep, for $200, with the thoughtful young man with a life-threatening disease. Justin doesn't push for anything physical and the two end up baring heart and soul to each other.
The final scene is hilarious and touching, and makes you wish you could cuddle up with them both.
Waiting for the Sun shares a rare point of view with laugh-out-loud moments and heartbreaking truths. The 90-minute show played to very pleased audiences in the Venus/Adonis Theater Festival at the Hudson Guild Theater, 441 26th St., New York, NY.
Kudos to the cast for funny and heartbreaking performances, and to Lyons-Keeley and.Keeley for an enlightening and entertaining piece of theater.
Waiting for the Sun is part of the Venus/Adonis Theatre Festival competing along with 48 other plays. The festival runs through March 10, 2016.