SMALL ENGINE REPAIR is the story of Frank, who coaxes his high school pals Swaino and Packie to meet at his small repair shop under false pretenses. After conversations about Frank’s daughter, exes, past issues, dirty humor and social media; preppy college jock, Chad shows up and adds even more fuel to the fire. This engaging and suspenseful story is sauteed in foul language and crude jokes which after a while, turn you numb and hook you into the plot that unfolds.
With a small cast, everyone is given ample time to be heard. John Pollono both wrote and stars in the play as Frank. He held deep secrets and at first acted gentle and kind but then blew his lid later on when the truth came out. James Ransone who played Packie was the daft friend who was pushed around by the bully, Swaino played by James Badge Dale. Keegan Allen played Chad and was the typical east coast guy sporting colorful pants, boater shoes, a collared shirt and sunglasses.
Scenic designer, Richard Hoover did an impeccable job transforming the stage into a repair shop. Since the play took place in Frankie’s garage, he filled it with tools, gadgets, a workbench, a fridge filled with beer and other objects you would expect to find in a shop.
There were many morals to the story but one thing that stood out to me was “one bad decision or picture can change your life.” In an age filled with social media, it’s always good to remember that. As noted before, the show was pretty foul. However, the writing was compelling and believable. If you can get past the explicit language and adult content, you will love it. If you don’t enjoy “R” rated things, this isn’t the show for you. For more information check out: http://www.mcctheater.org//currentseason.html#ENGINE
Rating: That Is The Question