Review: It’s Monkey Business With ‘Trevor’ on the PCS Second Stage

Eric Rupp turns in a fine performance as Trevor the chimpanzee, as does Jess Stinson, who plays a neighbor frightened by the powerful and willful chimp.  Photo by Rose Azrael.

By Margie Royal

Fans of dark comedies that border on the absurd will want to take a trip to The Players Club of Swarthmore to see “Trevor” written by Nick Jones and directed by Leigh Jacobs. It’s now on the Raymond W. Smith stage (the second floor stage) at the Players Club of Swarthmore. Once again I commend the Second Stage programming —  years ago you would have had to take a trip into the city to see a show like this as it’s edgy, satirical and not a sure-fire audience draw. The playwright bases his play on a true life tale of a chimpanzee named Trevor who starred in an infomercial with Morgan Fairchild. Jones takes that framework and shows us Trevor (terrifically played by Eric Rupp) still expecting to resume his showbiz career although many years have passed since his heyday and he’s grown older and bigger and is no longer a cute baby chimp. Trevor’s owner, Sandra (Kathy Quinn), lets the chimp do as he pleases. This frightens next-door neighbor, Ashley (Jess Stinson), who fears for the safety of her newborn baby. The fine cast also features Jim Fryer, John Barker, Stephen Travers and Anne Lannak.
Is the play exploring the mix of human and animal in all of us? Is it about our selfish neediness and self-absorption? Is it about the lies we choose to tell ourselves and our craving for stardom? I felt it was a jumbled mix of all these things stretched out into a two-act play. By the second act I was ready for it to be over, yet was dreading the end as I wondered how closely to the true tale Jones would take his script. How does it end? You’ll just have to take the trip out to the Player’s Club to find out.

Trevor, Players Cloub of Swarthmore

Eric Rupp and John Barker are two show-biz chimpanzees whose careers went in different directions in “Trevor” at the Players Club of Swarthmore. Photo by Rose Azrael.

The Players Club’s Raymond W. Smith stage is not handicapped-accessible.
Remaining performances are January  27 at 8 p.m., January 28 at 2 p.m., February 1 at 7:30, February 2 and 3 at 8. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, or in advance at www.pcstheater.org or 866-811-4111. The Players Club is located at 614 Fairview Road in Swarthmore, PA.