The last character is Leroy (James Lucey), Alex’s protective brother. He provides a passionate intensity and a show of independence, coming to work wearing T-shirts emblazoned with various obscenities, shocking customers. Pauline puts up with that because, as an art student, “I’m the only one in the store who knows anything about art supplies, so I can pretty much do whatever I want.” His T-shirts are one example of his confrontational works. Art is his religion, and he takes his kid brother to museums, hoping to convert him from his nihilistic convictions.
Playwright Hunter does a good job letting each of these people assert or explore their distinctive value systems, showing more than telling us where they’re at. Will agrees that, as Alex says, “Hell is all around us.” Leroy worships creativity and beauty, Anna searches for happiness, and Pauline for pride in accomplishment. A full spectrum, from dark to bright.
The theater’s publicity notes that Hunter’s first job was at a Walmart in Moscow, Idaho, where he said he found the break room to be “almost a sanctuary.” If only all these characters, when we leave them in this play, could feel so safe.