Bus Stop, which is currently doing a short run here in Missoula before it hits the road on a national tour. Bus Stop is not one of Inge’s best works, but it is very interesting in the way he creates eight characters from completely different perspectives and weaves a complex web on the theme of loneliness. I saw a dress rehearsal last week so I could get a feel for the show before I create the images. For those of you who do not know the show, it’s about a group of people that are stranded in a café (bus stop) for the night due to a snowstorm and how they all find their way bumbling while confined by the darkness of night and the cold world that surrounds them. It’s touted as a comedy, but did not come across as such when I saw the rehearsal. I think a live audience will find the humor and irony of its situations and the comedy will emerge. Though the theme of loneliness is universal, the play itself seems somewhat hard to access because of it is set in the 50’s and it is a time we no longer relate to or recognize. The story centers on a young nightclub singer who has been abducted by a young cowboy who is trying to force her to live him by taking her to a remote ranch in the wilds of Montana. What struck me more with this production was the relationship between Bo, the young cowboy and Virgil, an older cowboy and his mentor was their relationship. Everyone seems to find their way though the course of the show except this character Virgil who ends the play on a rather sour note:
“GRACE. There’ll be a bus to Kanz City in a few minutes. I’ll put the sign out and they’ll stop.
VIRGIL. No, thanks. No point in goin’ back there.
GRACE. Then I’m sorry, Mister, but you’re just left out in the cold.
VIRGIL. Well . . . that’s what happens to some people.”
VIEW FULL IMAGE: JARED SITTING