The Gene Frankel Underground
24 Bond Street (between Bowery & Lafayette)
June 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 2006
Thursday through Saturday, 8pm
Nervous-Boy — Mac Rogers
Emily — Rebecca Comtois
The Skank, Ensemble — Anna Kull
The Client, Ensemble — Marc Landers
The Grog, Ensemble — Patrick Shearer
The Patron, Ensemble — Ben Trawick-Smith
The Stripper, Ensemble — Tai Verley
The Gentleman, Ensemble — Scot Lee Williams
Director — Pete Boisvert
Playwright — James Comtois
Stage Manager — Stephanie Williams
Fight Choreographer — Qui Nguyen
Set Designer — Rose Howard
Lighting Designer — Sarah Watson
Sound Designer — Patrick Shearer
Make-up Designer — Cat Johnson
Costume Designer — Stephanie Williams
Pete Boisvert, James Comtois,
Rebecca Comtois, Chris Daly, Christopher Yustin
This was my attempt at writing a horror show, and for lack of a better category, we’re labeling it as a “horror” (although I think Pete and I will both contend that we hope people also find it funny, which isn’t surprising, considering the line between comedy and horror is a pretty damn thin one).
We’re living in very sad and alienating times. Very few of us deal with real tragedy on a day-by-day basis (with some exceptions; I’m not indifferent to family illness or things of that ilk). Living in the wealthiest country in the world — and for us New Yorkers, in one of the wealthiest and most expensive cities in the country — very few (if any) in this theatre right now are toiling or befallen with catastrophe. This is, I suspect, a rule of the game when everything is automated and everything is provided for us.
Yet still…a number of people I know have this free-floating dread and anxiety, that feeling that Something Is Wrong. We can’t put our finger on it, but we feel it: that feeling that we’re obsolete, that we don’t matter, never have mattered and never will matter to anyone or anything.
So, sometimes people create drama for themselves: make their lives more chaotic and problematic than they really are, thereby giving themselves and their situations a (false) depth of meaning.
I really don’t know what the solution to this is. Maybe there isn’t one. Maybe we just need to sing “Que Sera Sera” and acknowledge how small we are in the world. Yeah, I know: easier said than done.
The Adventures of Nervous Boy is a play for anyone who has felt a constant and steady fear of dread, who’s felt that the water is up to his or her eyeballs and rising. A play for anyone who’s felt at times that they’re always in the wrong place doing the wrong thing; who’s felt alienated and isolated despite being surrounded by people all the time.
A play for people who have had their heart broken and have never been able to mend it properly and move on; who have wanted to go on a rampage after a week from hell.
This is a play for anyone who has wondered if we are indeed in hell.
James “Native Alien” Comtois
New York, 2006
The Adventures of Nervous-Boy (2006)
In the black-as-death comedy-horror play from Nosedive Productions, the cruelly-named Nervous Boy wanders around a grotesque nightmare version of the city and comes across New Yorkers of every kind, from rude cell phone users, belligerent alcoholics, pretentious academics, screaming couples, demons from the underworld and brain-dead zombies as he tries to burn a recently earned paycheck in order to maintain his sanity.
"This is rare, incisive writing, and Comtois is fortunate that his director and frequent collaborator Pete Boisvert is so simpatico with it.…the real achievement of The Adventures of Nervous-Boy — which in addition to being beautifully written is one of the best directed and best produced indie theatre shows I've seen this year — is the way Comtois has his finger so precisely on the pulse of a disaffected generation." — nytheatre.com
"Comtois’s dry social satire delivers its punch with deadly efficiency... Here, Gotham is a dark city seen through a darker lens: The louts are actual zombies and drug dealers aren’t figuratively diabolical, they literally sport horns... Comtois & Co. are mining in Gogol’s vein: They may make us laugh, but that’s what happens when keen-eyed city dwellers tickle a seedy underbelly." — Time Out New York
"The comedy is self-evident, but the horror creeps in. What we see onstage is life in New York as Nervous-Boy experiences it. At just the right length, and having a good mix of comedy and horror, it worked for me." — ELJ Arts Annex