This production pairs the one-act dramedy about a vet trying to reenter society after serving in Vietnam with a performance by the all female band, The Chalks, inside a Texas roadhouse saloon in 1972.
The story takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar in 1972. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and realizes that about all he has left are memories of his glory days, his adoring younger brother Ray, his wife Elizabeth, and his now-crumbling 1959 pink Thunderbird. Joined by Ray, Roy sets about consuming a case of Lone Star beer while regaling his brother with tales of his military and amorous exploits. But with the arrival of Cletis, the fatuous, newlywed son of the local hardware store owner, the underpinnings of Roy's world gradually begin to collapse.
“By virtue of simply treating it as a period piece, Battista's new production...does hold a certain sociological and historical fascination. And when the text itself is performed as sensitively as it is here, it's enough to temporarily pulverize any reservations one might have about the play's dated qualities...’Lone Star’ may feel slight in the moment, but only in retrospect does the inner pathos of the material become apparent."
“Feels like two separate pieces rather than one coherent and connected show...The script is the weakest point; the plot is strange when it seems to exist at all...A real conflict doesn't show up until almost the end...The characters are very two-dimensional and we're never really given a reason to care about any of them...The second act of the show seems to drag by as the play's plot feels underdeveloped. As entertaining as The Chalks are, the actual play achieves far too little.”
"Roy enumerates for Ray the ugly atrocities against Vietnamese citizens that he saw during the war, in essence bragging about his capacity to endure it all. In a culture that has become increasingly sensitive about the horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, there's little room now for humor surrounding such content. Perhaps, too, audiences are simply less amused than they used to be by depictions of rural Texans as dung-kicking buffoons, which is probably a good thing."
"The play drags on and on, with no focus or direction. The actors wander, the story wanders, our minds wander. It inspires no interest in the material. Ironically, the musical send-up of our country cousins charms while the serious play insults Texans with its campy portrayal of hicks with overly emphasized twangs and complete lack of self reflection. The Lone Star state deserves better."