With Brothers Beckett, Poop Jokes Abound at Arsht
|David Michael Sirois|
Of course, playwright and co-star David Michael Sirois never intended his reprisal of Brothers Beckett, originally presented at the cozy Alliance Theater Lab in Miami Lakes and now a part of the Arsht Center's Theater Up Close series, to be a serious matter.
That's clear from the moment one lays eyes on the Beckett set at the Center's Carnival Studio Theater before the metaphorical curtain comes up. Against the background of pukey-pink studio apartment walls are strewn dozens of pre-teen toys, among them a giant Crayola crayon, a pulley-based letter delivery system that runs from top to bottom bunk bed, and the late '90s classic, Bop-It.
- Brothers Beckett at Arsht: Sibling Rivalry and Revelry
The sight of these childish living quarters does help soften the would-be shock of meeting mega-immature brothers Kevin and Brad Beckett (Gabe Hammad and Sirois), two Ivy League graduates in their late 20s and early 30s, respectively, who seem to be stuck in the fifth grade emotionally, regardless of what their fancy diplomas say.
The very first scene finds these adult-ish men playing a heated game of backgammon during which they alternately mock each other like cranky five-year-olds and bicker at each other like crotchety 75-year-olds. The main source of squabble is Kevin's long-distance, long-term girlfriend, Tuesday, who will soon be arriving for a one-week stay at the brothers' crusty-looking man pad. Somewhat inexplicably, unemployed older brother Brad is certain Tuesday is a whore who's made shagging the entire football team an extracurricular activity at the University of Miami. Kevin, a struggling playwright, a dreamer, and a romantic who, in his excitement for Tuesday's visit, has crafted a glittery "Welcome Soulmate" sign to greet her upon her arrival, scowls and squirms at his mooching brother's jabs in an amusingly girlish way.