Writer: Tom DeTrinis
Director: Drew Droege
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
Tom DeTrinis is angry. In 2020, pretty much everyone is. But DeTrinis was angry far before this relentlessly challenging year. And he’ll be the first one to tell you that.
In this one-man show filmed live in an audience-less Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles, DeTrinis explores the causes and consequences of his rage with wit and self-awareness. Nailing impressions of everyone from New York bartenders to sleazy LA landlords, DeTrinis reflects not only on the things he loves to hate, but also explores the duality of our public and private personas. How does the “party self” differ from the “real self”? When is anger healthy and when is it a hinderance? Big questions posed to an empty room – though a result of Covid, the unfilled theatre space becomes an inadvertent symbol of shouting into the void and hoping it will respond with the affirmation we so desperately need.
DeTrinis expertly teeters the fine line between endearing and offputting, bringing to the performative surface the extremes to which we perceive others are thinking of us. This well-tempered performance under the guiding hand and watchful eye of director Drew Droege serves to make the short performance an engaging and compelling hour-ish of online theatre. Even if one isn’t on the same page with all of DeTrinis’ opinions (after all, this reviewer is NYC based), the skill and humor in the construction and delivery of the script is undeniably engaging.
Making Friends is full of heart, laughs, and dynamic storytelling. DeTrinis is masterful at alienating the audience one moment and tugging on our heartstrings the next. While the humor sustains throughout the show, the DeTrinis’ vulnerability and the audience’s empathy gradually crescendo in tandem throughout the play. Making Friends is a charming reminder that under anger and strife lie love and a desire for connection… even if that connection has to be virtual for the time being.
Available Online Through 11 January 2021 | Photo Credit: Jeff Hammerton