SMALL ENGINE REPAIR presented Untethered Theatre and the Clifton Players through April 15. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Friday performance.

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Carter Bratton as Swaino, Nathan Neorr as Frank & Charlie Roetting as Packie. Photo by Kirk Sheppard.

The more I enjoy a show, the less I have to talk about in my review. This review for SMALL ENGINE REPAIR should be pretty brief.

The script is very well-written with believable characters and many laugh-out-loud moments. I enjoyed how the story unfolded, how it kept me guessing on where events were heading, and how it ended with a satisfying conclusion.

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Rupert Spraul as Chad. Photo by Kirk Sheppard.

Director Jared Doren has assembled a strong ensemble. The pacing is spot on. The blocking is natural, uses all available space, and offers good sight lines (especially considering the limitations of the venue).

I wouldn’t have pegged Nathan Neorr as a “father of the year” type, but he is completely believable as Frank and gives a strong, layered performance. Charlie Roetting gives Packie a lovable misfit quality and has great comic timing. As womanizing Swaino, Carter Bratton finds a perfect balance between the swagger and the heart hidden beneath. The three easily click as childhood friends. Rupert Spraul is equally strong as silver-spooned, college jock Chad.

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Nathan Neorr as Frank, Rupert Spraul as Chad, Carter Bratton as Swaino & Charlie Roetting as Packie. Photo by Kirk Sheppard.

Overall a well-written, dark comedy gem, very smartly directed and performed. Not only did the script take me to a place I didn’t expect, it was a hell of a ride getting there.

My rating: 5 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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