A Little Room With A Very Big Heart
There is no other time in your life you’ll get the chance to experience the things you do in College. Weird hookups, wild parties and the life the young adult has the chance to experience while away at some four-year institution is one that, most of the time, can’t be put into words. However, that has been done. In a brand new play called A Little Room, the audience finds themselves thrust into the two room of two college boys who couldn’t be more different from one another. Despite their differences, they are perfect roommates. However, make no mistake, while this new piece of theatre may be called A Little Room, there isn’t much little about this fantastic new piece of theatre. Filled with outlandish humor, ridiculous tales and a story the audience can’t help but love, A Little Room will leave you speechless and wanting more.
A Little Room is a new play written by Tom DeMichele. It tells the story of two young men in college, Tom and Keland, and thrusts the audience into the middle of their living situation only leaving us to experience daily life for these two young men. Tom, a dedicated school student who consistently finds himself studying and writing papers, is the odd man out with his roommate Keland, who is not only diversified in the world, but the world of college as well. Throughout the piece, we experience the relationships between Tom’s girlfriend Beth, Keland’s enemy and fellow classmate Phill and Ailsa, a girl who Keland finds a particular interest in. Throughout the piece we experience the odd lifestyle of Tom and Keland and how it affects every one of their friends throughout their daily lives. A Little Room is directed by Brendan Stackhouse.
If I had to compare A Little Room to something, I would have to call it the modern-day version of The Odd Couple. Except much better. DeMichele has managed to capture an absolutely hilarious relationship in the characters of Tom and Keland which amounts into roaring laughter for the audience throughout the entire piece. By intermission, my stomach hurt from laughing so much. DeMichele has not written a series of hilarious one liners but rather a genius comedic piece of theatre that captures the true heart and soul of the college experience for the modern-day young adult. It’s Saturday Night Live meets theatre. While A Little Room may be odd in the sense that its second act is far longer than its first, DeMichele has stuck to the principals of theatre and brought the first act to an end with conflict that only leaves you wondering what in god’s name the second act could possibly hold in store. Trust me, this is one show you will not mind that the second act is far longer.
Tom DeMichele, yes the author, also managed to star in the piece as the character Tom. While one might confuse DeMichele at first as Clark Kent (It doesn’t help that a Superman poster & mug appear in his room), he manages to not only save the day with his brilliant script but also his fantastic performance. As a more reserved studious student, DeMichele finds himself sometimes in shock and horror of the things his fellow roommate does. While he may seem reserved, he has a quirky side that you’ll see from time to time throughout the production. The most important thing for DeMichele is that by the end of the piece, he learns that he can’t live today if he is so busy worrying about life tomorrow. He learns this lesson from his girlfriend and unexpectedly his roommate as well.
Keland Alaka’i Sarno stars in the pice as Keland, a crazy typical college guy obsessed with partying, hooking up with other girls and doing just about anything except classwork. However, there is nothing typical about Sarno’s character. He quite literally can’t get through one line without the audience reacting to what he is saying. Most of the time mind you, it’s out of control laughter. His performance will leave you gasping for breath, more than likely because he’s too damn funny. Oddly enough, all the behavior comes second nature to Sarno. By the end of the piece, Sarno manages not only to understand his roommates odd lifestyle, far different form his, but also defend it despite being nothing alike. Because in that end, that’s what roommates do.
These two of course come with a group of friends, lovers and enemies as all college students do. Elizabeth Miller, who stars as Beth, manages to have the audience fall in love with her just about every time she enters the stage. If her adoring personality isn’t enough for you, her endless stories of a bunny will have you hysterical. She’s just absolutely great. Ailsa Hoke, who stars as Ailsa, manages to capture the heart of Keland (If that’s what you college kids call love) with her bold looks and teasing personality. While we aren’t lucky enough to find Hoke on stage much throughout the piece, she does play a pivotal role for both of our leading characters reminding each of them where the other’s heart lies. She also reminds us that at the end of the day, we forget the little things and look at life’s big picture and those who are always truly are close to our hearts through conflict. She brings to life the true meaning that there are no small parts in theatre, only small actors and proves she is not one of them. Phil Della Noce, who stars as Phil, is absolutely hilarious appearing as Sarno’s main enemy during the entire piece. From his odd obsession with veggie burgers to his pet snake to a weird incident with Sarno and his dog, Della Noce is a comical force who appears consistently strong throughout the piece. He fits into the odd ball college stereotype and just about makes it work even if he doesn’t even know what is necessarily happening at that moment.
One of the characteristics about A Little Room that makes it so strong is how versatile and relevant it is. A production like this could be performed in various venues and with various actors playing roommates for a long time to come because this is for many, the college experience. Besides the fact that DeMichele and Sarno are indeed real life roommates, two characters would be able to bring this piece to life in their very own way acting as roommates. Pieces of theatre like this one, that can carry their story on their own due to the strong writing have success written into them. I only look forward to seeing where this hilarious piece of theatre goes from here. Whether it’s back to the writing desk for some revisions or on to another stage for another mounting, I have no doubt in my mind no matter where A Little Room goes that it will be a big success.
While college is only four years of our lives, the connections we make, the stories we collect and the memories we cherish live on far long past the day our diploma is handed to us. While you may find yourselves in A Little Room during your four years of school, look outside those walls at the big picture. There is something about those four walls that confine you and a stranger you have suddenly had to become friends with after being forced to live together. While you may have the rest of your life to look forward to, for those four years, be sure not to miss out on the big picture you can experience right in your very own little room. A Little Room was presented at Wagner College in Stage One on December 8th, 2013 at 2 PM and 8 PM. For more information, follow A Little Room on Twitter. Be sure to follow Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!