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2019 FESTIVAL OF INDEPENDENT THEATRES

Matt and Kim Lyle in <em>Nerve</em>&nbsp;from Bootstraps Comedy Theater

FIT Review: Nerve

Kim and Matt Lyle hit all the right notes in Bootstraps Comedy Theater'sFestival of Independent Theatres entry, Adam Syzmkowicz's Nerve.



published Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Photo: Amy Rosenthal
Matt and Kim Lyle in Nerve from Bootstraps Comedy Theater

 

Dallas — Prolific playwright Adam Szymkowicz’s Nerve follows the familiar cycles and effed-up dynamics of a dysfunctional relationship. The catch is that all of it has been condensed into an evening of an awkward first date.

After meeting on a dating app and exchanging several emails, Susan and Elliot meet for a Michael Moore movie. Afterwards, they head to a dive bar. It’s the kind of place that has a run-down jukebox against the back wall and where the clientele scratch their names into the tabletops with knives. It’s at the bar where the audience catches up with the two, played by real-life married couple (and Bootstraps Comedy Theater founders) Kim Lyle and Matt Lyle. Local actor, playwright, techie, and FIT veteran Jeff Swearingen directs.

As if the movie choice and seedy bar weren’t enough, the evening progresses, becoming a master class on what not to do on a first date. For Elliot’s part, this means proclamations of love, admission to jail time and restraint orders, and compliments that range from “I’m just surprised you’re human!” to “I’d like to build a nest in your hair. Caw! Caw!”

Susan has brought her own baggage with her as well. She suffers from borderline personality disorder. She’s a cutter and former bulimic. Her fulltime job is at "a place that makes penile implants." (They give employees discounts.) To help give her life balance, she volunteers at the suicide hotline. Oh, and she pulls a butterfly knife from her purse so Elliot can carve their names into the furniture.

As a farce, Nerve hits all the right notes while also hinting at the universal desperation for love and acceptance lurking just beneath the surface. The actors nimbly move from slapstick to poignancy, and from neediness to coyness. They flawlessly embody the physicality of their characters. Susan’s uncredited choreography during her solo dances of abandon form delightful interludes in which the audience can recover from laughing so hard.

As the night wears on and the tallboys stack up, even the fraught tension of a potential second date becomes almost too much to bear. Will Susan and Elliot decide to call it quits? Will the audience ever learn just how many puppets is “a lot”? Just stick around for the conclusion, if you have the nerve.

 

» Nerve is performed in the following performance blocks:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3

» The 21st annual Festival of Independent Theatres runs through Aug. 3, 2019 at The Bath House Cultural Center. For more information, visit www.festivalofindependenttheatres.org or call 1-800-617-6904.

To see a breakdown of the groups and shows, go here.

To see reviews and more coverage of FIT, see our special section here.

 

2019 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

*denotes first appearance in the festival

 

THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2019 (8 PM)

Leos Ensemble – small hours

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019 (8 PM)

*Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

*WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

*Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (2 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (5 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (8 PM)

*Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

*Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Kathryn Taylor Rose in Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

 

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 (2 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 (5 PM)

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

 

THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019 (8 PM)

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

 

FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019 (8 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Leos Ensemble – small hours

 

FRIDAY JULY 26, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (2 PM)

Leos Ensemble – small hours

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (5 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (8 PM)

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Kathryn Taylor Rose in Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

 

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2019 (2 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2019 (5 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2019 (8 PM)

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 (8 PM)

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (2 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (5 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Leos Ensemble – small hours

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (8 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

 Thanks For Reading




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FIT Review: Nerve
Kim and Matt Lyle hit all the right notes in Bootstraps Comedy Theater'sFestival of Independent Theatres entry, Adam Syzmkowicz's Nerve.
by Frank Garrett

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