Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Off-beat and full bore comedy

Citizen Staff Writer



Do you think Picasso was ever a fan of the Three Stooges? Well, if he was, the eccentric painter would love “Somebody/Nobody” by Jane Martin. The world premiere production by Arizona Theatre Company opened in a swirl of confetti, inspiring such adjectives as vigorous, frantic, flailing, frenzied, fidgety and extreme.

The comedy is off-beat and beyond way out there, with an energy level that’s full-bore, redline action.

Neil Simon this is definitely not.

Think of your favorite “Saturday Night Live” skit, then speed it up, overinflate it and at the right split-second, poke it with a pin.

Martin’s humor is relentless. The kind that walks out into the audience with a big club. Anybody who isn’t laughing gets bonked on the head.

It is hopeless for you to sit there with a grumpy expression, arms folded across your chest, complaining that nothing makes any sense. As David Byrne of the Talking Heads reminded us a long time ago, there are lots of things more important than making sense.

Jon Jory, the director, has perfectly cast this hectic statement on the nature of celebrity Hollywood-style. The kind of Los Angeles fame that comes, not from doing anything exceptional, but from being managed, manipulated and shot from guns as an object of media desire.

Alexandra Tavares returns to ATC from her magical spin in last season’s unforgettable “Clean House,” also directed by Jory. This time out, Tavares’ performance is even further over the top as Sheena, the B-movie chatter-head whose entire wardrobe comes in brilliant shades of shocking pink.

Sheena is flying through life so fast she’d be taking speed pills to slow down. Arrogance is what keeps her fueled. “Goddesses don’t care about other people,” she announces, and that is that.

On her solution for maintaining a crackling social life: “I keep replacement men in my extra bedroom.”

But Sheena also suffers mightily. All that nervous energy has turned into agoraphobia. Being seen in public is so painful, she compulsively flees an aggressive fan by running into the plain apartment of the super-plain and devoutly Christian diesel truck mechanic Loli (Jessica Martin, not related to the playwright).

Loli dreams of becoming famous. The kind of fame people pay attention to in her hometown of Flatt, Kansas – a place they call The Big Empty. That’s why she came to Los Angeles, but nothing is working out.

So when Sheena bursts into Loli’s apartment, Loli is delighted – even if Sheena is a blender full of quirky mannerisms and rude remarks. Sheena is a celebrity, after all. She can do whatever she wants.

All this colorful agitation comes to a screeching halt when broad-shouldered Joe Don (Jeremy Styles Holm) bursts in, ready to haul Loli out of this Sin City and back to Kansas. Full of cowboy mannerisms and a country accent, Joe Don is completely smitten by Sheena.

But this off-kilter trio of misfits is sent spinning into outer space with the explosive arrival of Galaxy (Elizabeth Gilbert), a bigger control freak than God himself.

“I’m like God,” Galaxy assures us. “Only more visible,” and she is absolutely right.

There will be several more surprises before this “Somebody/Nobody” conflict gets worked out. Rest assured, you might as well just give in and start laughing at the beginning, because for sure you’ll be laughing by the end.


What: Arizona Theatre Company presents the world premiere of “Somebody/Nobody” by Jane Martin

When: Various times Tuesdays through Sundays through March 28

Where: Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.

Price: $26-$50

Info: 622-2823, arizonatheatre.org

Grade: B

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service