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SCOTCH AND MADNESS Alleyway Theatre
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Feb 28, 2020, 14:31
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Through March 14
SCOTCH AND MADNESS Alleyway Theatre

Tatiana Gelfand and Paul Jensen’s “Scotch and Madness” is clearly one of those late night barroom conversations.
You know, enjoying the Christmas holidays and somebody says: I’m glad I’m not some shrink dealing with holiday madness.
There is that long held view that mental illness is somehow worse in the holidays, surrounded by people who are seemingly happy and enjoying the array of parties, shopping and suspended mistletoe.
That’s where Timothy Goehrig’s Fred comes in.
Psychological Counseling Services is almost shut down for the holidays.
Almost.
Fred is increasingly drunkenly manning the emergency line for those people who just can’t make it through the interim days of psychologist down time.
Here’s where it moves from a play to one of those movies where characters shift from one location to another as the screen wipes from one location to another.
Here, Fred just moves across the Alleyway stage as he moves from the voice on the phone to a person involved in the lives of those who make the calls.
It’s awkward.
That includes his relatives, who are more than a little strange themselves, sister (Jaimee Harmon) and Uncle Don (Daniel Greer).
Fred is drifting in and out of the lives of the people who called in looking for help.
He’s also cracking up himself, for reasons never made clear.
Of course, there is that old shibboleth that shrinks are as crazy as their patients.
Here, it’s the dance of the disturbed, led by Fred.
Goehrig is far above the play.
There is a much stronger play here but what we’re seeing is what the playwrights intended since Gelfand is the production’s director and what’s staged is what she wants.
Would this work better as a movie?
Probably.
“Scotch and Madness” really doesn’t work well as a play.
It’s worth seeing for two reasons, Goehrig and the premise.

A.W.

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