If Kenneth Lonergan had done nothing with his career besides the superb film You Can Count on Me, he could rest on his laurels. But his beguiling play Lobby Hero is also quite good, and the Unicorn Theatre opens its thirtieth season with it. The dramedy is about four New Yorkers — a ritzy apartment security guard on the graveyard shift, his boss and two beat cops. These dissimilar characters’ paths cross in the aftermath of an ugly crime. Jeff is the title character, though he doesn’t behave in an overtly heroic manner. Rather, he’s a reliable twentysomething among the thousands who make up New York’s service industry — the kind of guy who’s invisible until, some off morning, he isn’t where he’s supposed to be. Then he’s missed.
Directing is Mark Robbins, who admits that the show isn’t exactly action-packed. “Most of the action is moral,” he said before a recent rehearsal. “Jeff is directionless and challenged in other ways, [but] all four of them are dealing with their conscience.” Lobby Hero stars up-and-comers Henry Vick and Katie Gilchrist and opens at the Unicorn (3828 Main) on Friday, August 29, at 8 p.m. It runs through Sunday, September 21. Call 816-531-7529, ext. 10, for tickets or information.— Steve Walker
No More Excuses
Local bands call bullshit.
There are three local bands you’ve been wanting to see all summer. You’ve heard the Belles’ bittersweet single “Never Said Anything” and are curious how it sounds live. You’re a friend of a friend of one of Everest’s drummers and want to see if he still lives around here. And you keep hearing about that one band with the weird name that’s so hot right now. They must know that you’ve been slacking, because the three bands you speak of have taken it upon themselves to get booked together so you can take down three birds with one rock. The Belles, Everest and Namelessnumberheadman perform Friday at the Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire in Lawrence. For information, call 785-842-5483.— Michael Vennard