Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay


Barbecue Apocalypse
Spreckels Performing Arts Center
Review by Mitchell Field | Season Schedule

Also see Nicole's review of Home


Jess Headington and Sam Coughlin
Photo by Jeff Thomas
Matt Lyle's hilarious comedy Barbecue Apocalypse, currently making it's North Bay premiere at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park, is more than a tale about three insecure and pretentious couples gathering for a barbecue on the deck of Mike, a failed writer (Sam Coughlin), and Deb's (Jessica Headington) modest suburban home where the deck chairs don't match.

It's a story about moving from 30-something self-involvement (Deb and Mike serve mango margaritas and still have movie posters as decor inside the home) with clothing, careers and culinary skills, to surviving in a post-apocalyptic "hands-on" world of killing and eating raccoons, and other "depraved" acts.

Before you let this image put you off, it has to be said that this play is more like a TV sitcom, full of one-liners and snappy dialog. The production is crisply directed by Larry Williams, and elicited howls of laughter at the performance I attended.

During act one's patio gathering, the invitees pursue neurosis-heavy squabbling until the obnoxious Win (J.T. Harper) makes a pass at Deb, which results in a violent act. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to partygoers Ash (Trevor Hoffman), a successful yupster, his wife Lulu (Lyndsey Sivalingam), a quick drunk, and Win's gorgeous but shallow girlfriend Glory (Katie Kelley), the world has literally fallen apart.

Act two finds the same group on the same deck, meeting to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the apocalypse where mere survival is now success—until John (Matt T, Witthaus), a mysterious visitor, complicates the party.

Barbecue Apocalypse, through April 20, 2019, at Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park CA. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., and Thursdays (April 11 and 18) at 7 p.m.. Tickets: General $26; Seniors (62+) $24; Students $22; children (12 and under) $16. Call the box office at 588-3400, purchase in-person Wednesday through Saturdays, 12-5 p.m. and one hour before every show, or visit SpreckelsOnline.com.


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