Monday, January 13, 2014

An Afghan Veteran Comes Home to "Hummingbird Wars"


A Funny, Topical “Hummingbird Wars” at Arts Garage

By Skip Sheffield

Two new shows stand in stark contrast this week in area theaters. “Hummingbird Wars” is onstage through Feb. 2 at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach.
“42nd Street” is running through Feb. 9 at the Wick Theatre (formerly Caldwell) in Boca Raton.
The two productions could not be more different, but each is excellent in its own right.
“Hummingbird Wars” is a premiere production of playwright Carter W. Lewis’s latest work.
Lewis is a prolific, rising playwright whose work has been produced at prestigious theaters across the country, including the now-defunct Florida Stage, whose artistic director Louis Tyrrell now heads the theater program at Arts Garage.
“Hummingbird Wars,” directed by Tyrrell’s friend Greg Johnson of the Montana Repertory Theatre, is inspired by the ongoing war in Afghanistan and its aftermath.
Todd Allen Durkin plays Warren, a decorated Afghan war hero who has returned to his suburban Minnesota family. Warren’s family situation is as creaky and cracked as the foundation of their shoddy tract house.
You could say Warren is suffering from post-war traumatic stress syndrome, as he has been home a full year yet remains in a fog of depression and apathy. His family is of scant comfort. Between her job and various advocacy crusades, wife Mel (Jeri Hacker) is hardly ever at home.
Son Pete (Andrew Griner, Jr.), 15, is sullen and uncommunicative. Pete inexplicably “finds” guns in the house.
Kate (Gretchen Porro)), 19 has come out as a lesbian, and wants her girlfriend Tracy (Joline Mujica) to come and live with her.
Surprisingly “Hummingbird Wars” is quite funny, with Todd Allen Durkin basically playing a deadpan straight man to the nutty types around him. The play is quite short and performed without intermission, so if you don’t like it, you won’t have wasted much time.
Tickets are $25-$35. Call 561-450-6357.


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