This one-man show by former 49ers fourth-round draft pick Scott Barry recounts his failed efforts to make a living playing football. Barry speaks in the ecstatic cadences of a spoken-word poet, accompanied by a beatnik string bass (played by Mark Ivey). With the good looks of a lanky small-town athlete, Barry's funny when he describes the moments of super-confidence that too rarely occur amidst the cringing self-doubt. But he brings nothing new to this tale. Has-beens (i.e., all people who've played a sport seriously) either reinvent themselves or get stuck. Barry's acceptance of his lot as Common Man rings false and condescending. His entry-level job at play's end can't be as satisfying as he says. After all, he's left it and is now acting and writing, hardly Everyman's pursuit. There's something about Barry's need for fame he's not telling us. He's claiming a touchdown, when he's only made it to the red zone.
Through Sept. 4 at Il Teatro 450, 449 Powell, Third Floor, S.F. Call 433-1172.
Jekyll & Hyde
With the Chron condemning it as the worst musical of the decade and the latest Forbidden Broadway CD proclaiming: "See Jekyll & Hyde. Perfect for people who find Andrew Lloyd Webber's music too challenging," you hate to kick this show, which is already, obviously, down. But Christ Almighty does this one suck. Composer Frank Wildmon and writer/lyricist Leslie Bricusse can't come up with a single original idea, and the first act is deadly dull. Dr. Jekyll (Chuck Wagner) sings "This Is the Moment" right before he injects himself for the first time (with "Formula HJ7," don't ya know). It's the same exact song as Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time," swear to God. Act 2, however, has some great moments of camp. The opener is a hoot: "Murder, murder! In the night! Air!/ Murder, murder! It's a night! Mare!" And poor Chuck Wagner has a duet with himself as both Jekyll and Hyde ("Confrontation") that someone from the Act 1 asylum must have written. As a chorus of Jekyll detractors sings: "Nay. Nay. Absolutely, positively nay!" With Andrea Rivette and Sharon Brown, who have to belt out some big bland ballads.
Through Aug. 29 at the Orpheum, 1192 Market (at Hyde), S.F. Call 551-2000.
-- Joe Mader