By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
While the script often borders on superficial, Azurdia and Tei, who are approximately ten years apart in age, bring an interesting blend of decades to the writing: references to Paul McCartney and Wings and Less Than Zero are spliced with talk of Green Day and Blink-182. What keeps Here in My Carfrom being a narcissistic, "Hey! A Play About Me and My Friends!" production is Tei's excellent direction (his best effort so far) and the Mad Cats themselves. These actors are not talking heads! Without this spontaneous and adventurous troupe of actors, the play would fall flat.
The core company members (Azurdia, Heredia, Siskind, Clement, and Vines) are excellent actors who are starting to develop their own energy and comfort levels. Heredia, Azurdia, and Siskind have created three female characters that are as quirky as they are comical. Clement has a confident stage presence that is always a welcome aspect to any Mad Cat show. And Vines has finally found the ideal role. He is hilarious as Eddie, the boyfriend of anorexic barmaid Brandy (Jennifer Smith). Smith and Vines's explosive dialogue adds some much-needed levity to the play. The two weakest actors are Caroline Edelen and David Cirone, who play a couple dealing with the complications of a long-distance relationship. This also is the weakest relationship in the play. Since it runs pretty long (one hour and forty-five minutes, with two ten-minute intermissions), a weaker vignette like this one could be shortened or even eliminated without detracting from the piece as a whole.
If Spam still means nothing to you, maybe this production won't either. But for the rest of us, this is a good opportunity to catch real live theater. Here in My Car is more entertaining than Friends, costs less than Cirque du Soleil, and has as much cultural relevance as -- dare we admit it? -- a night at "Pop Life."