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June 13, 2019:

Under the Table & Dreaming reviewed by Rob Stevens

Are you one of the countless fans of the Toy Story films? Did you ever wonder what happened to Andy when he finally packed his toys away and went to college? Did you ever check out any of the fan fiction written about sensitive, nerdy Andy and the bully next door, Sid? Well writer/director Lanchi Le did about seven years ago and found a tale that had Andy and Sid become a gay couple and followed them through a life together. Her adaptation, Under the Table & Dreaming, is currently on stage as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. We follow the boys from the night Sid (Cameron Ley) crawled through Andy’s (Adolfo Lambert) window to escape his abusive father. We see the boys meeting up in junior high, Andy still in his Buzz Lightyear shirt. They start a sexual relationship that Andy doesn’t really want to end and he encourages Sid to follow him to Los Angeles as he attends UCLA. Sid is a high school dropout who works odd jobs—bouncer, personal assistant to a pop star—and odd hours but for good bucks. In his final year of college, geology major Andy finally brings Sid back home to re-introduce him to Mom (Emily Leclair) and younger sister Molly (Sarai Jimenez Ramos). Eventually Molly marries, Andy’s business slumps while Sid remains solid as his landscaping business and koi pond. Although the relationship has its ups and downs, the twosome stays together and eventually raise a daughter of their own.

Adolfo Lambert and Cameron Ley

With a ninety-minute running time, the show needs trimming or a better structure. Most of the scenes are extremely short and staccato like as they parse out tidbits of story development. I’m not sure if the fault lies in the original fan fiction (have not read it) or in Le’s adaptation but the structure should be more solid for the stage. Ley and Lambert bring the necessary youthful exuberance to their roles as well as a mature gravitas as the story progresses. Leclair gives good support as a supportive mother. Ramos’ high energy Molly seems like a caffeine addict in need of a time out but she does provide some comic relief.


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