Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: The Rockin' Stock Broker

Life grants us experiences that are perfect to talk about. You know, life experience. We’ve all gone through something that could easily be turned into theatrical material. Chris Foley sure did. In Off the Desk: Tales of a Mediocre Stock Broker, Foley takes the audience on a journey through his time as an intern until things began to crash with every whacky personality, intense party, and moments of truth in between.
Written and performed by Foley, Off the Desk: Tales of a Mediocre Stock Broker is the tale of one man’s experience in the world of Wall Street. This world has been brought to life on stage and screen but is the portrayal of coked out, outrageously loud broker world truly accurate? Foley’s living proof. Foley has a knack for storytelling. And he certainly has some stories to tell. From trading floor exploits to the aftermath of the broker life, Foley has a way that invites the audience into his world. Foley paints a picture that’s accessible and easy to see. Rather than toss around lingo and jargon that could dilute the tales, Foley skillfully manages to keep things comprehensible. Clarity is key and it was present in Foley’s text.
The extended monologue featured a series of characters that Foley melted into. Director Padraic Lillis did a wondrous job guiding Foley through physicality. Foley may not be a master of vocal characters, so the physicality aided. Lillis allowed Foley’s narrative to be the prime focus of the piece. The beats were hit and the moments seamlessly flowed with one tiny exception. To help delineate Foley’s tone in certain situations, Foley removed his button down and tie. Of course, as the stories matured into full-on workforce, Foley needed to redress. Lillis had a wonderful lighting and sound design from Derek Miller and Andy Evan Cohen that he could have utilized in that moment. There was nothing more awkward than stage silence after stopping a story in order to tuck in a shirt. Aside from that little bit, it was smooth sailing. The cohesiveness of Miller and Cohen’s design added a richness to Foley’s play. Foley is a rock star so the design needed to match that. With a score inspired by the rock hits of the 70s and 80s and lighting that was evocative of a concert, the moments they were present elevated the play.
Off the Desk: Tales of a Mediocre Stock Broker may sound like something you’d likely stray away from but Foley’s story is quite remarkable.