Paul J. Williams in <em>Bright Colors and Bold Patterns</em>

Review: Bright Colors and Bold Patterns | Uptown Players | Bryant Hall

Who Me, Loud?

Paul J. Williams is comic greatness in the one-man play Bright Colors and Bold Patterns at Uptown Players.

published Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Photo: Mike Morgan
Paul J. Williams in Bright Colors and Bold Patterns


Dallas — Gerry (pronounced Gary) has just arrived poolside in Palm Springs after already dipping into his weekend cocaine and downing a couple of beers. He claims to have made the drive from Los Angeles in 53 minutes. Orbiting within a constellation of exes and exes of exes and fueled by drugs, drinks, spilled tea, and an unhealthy dose of insecurity, he’s ready to face the weekend’s wedding events for his college pals Josh and Brennan.

Playwright Drew Droege’s one-man show gets its name from the instructions on the wedding invitation. (ikr?!): guests are asked to abstain from wearing bright colors and bold patterns. Gerry “translates” the directive for his ex, Dwayne: “it’s Laura Ashley for ‘God hates gays.’ ” Likening assimilation to disappearing into the background, our flamboyant antihero promises to rage, rage against the slow fade to beige.

Bright Colors and Bold Patterns stars comic character genius Paul J. Williams as Gerry. You may have met his other personas Sister Helen Holy and Nelda Pickens around town or onstage. Williams commands our attention throughout the 80-minute show. With great timing and nuance, he rouses both side-splitting laughs and earnest reflection. Marianne Galloway directs.

This show is matched with Cooties, playwright Alexandrew Recore’s romantic comedy (with a twist) produced by Flexible Grey Theatre Company as part of Uptown Players’ celebration of Gay History Month. It’s a winning combination of two very funny shows that complement each other well.

Dennis Canright’s well-suited scenic design is crowded with brightly colored tropical gobo patterns and kitschy cabana furniture. The set does double duty for both shows, but for Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, sun chairs replace the couch from Cooties. The addition of a pool ladder is a nice touch, though it was necessary for some audience members to precariously step around it on the way to their seats. Canright’s design and Kathryn Demith’s props evoke the partied-out atmosphere of another Palm Springs wedding.

With a title like Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, wardrobe supervisor Suzi Cranford had her work cut out for her, though Gerry’s clothes are not as outrageous as one might expect. Kyle Harris’ lighting design is perfectly suitable and nicely subtle in its transition from late night to early morning, though some audience members might be bothered by the use of strobe lights in one of the scenes.

Gerry’s sense of humor is very much oriented toward the sassy end of the spectrum that butts up against snarky camp. Williams pulls off the demeanor quite well in a show that demands rapid-fire delivery that’s almost like a stand-up routine. But by the end, we see moments of real honesty and vulnerability behind the flashy facade. This show promises—and delivers—all the bright colors and bold patterns of Gerry’s often over-the-top personality. Dress accordingly.

» Bright Colors and Bold Patterns runs in rotating repertory with Flexible Grey Theatre Company's Cooties

» Read our interview with Olivia Grace Murphy and Paul J. Williams

» Bright Colors and Bold Patterns is performed at 8 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday; and 8 p.m. Monday (Oct. 25-28)

» Cooties is performed at 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 26-27)

» See our Proust Offstage video with Paul J. Williams here Thanks For Reading

Click or Swipe to close
Who Me, Loud?
Paul J. Williams is comic greatness in the one-man play Bright Colors and Bold Patterns at Uptown Players.
by Frank Garrett

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :