Theater Review of Before with Pat Kinevane - David Bramante Blog

Theater Review of Before with Pat Kinevane

Here is my review of Before, written and performed by Pat Kinevane, which I saw at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble this weekend with my live-in girlfriend, Kayla.

The Good: It’s impressive that Pat can perform non-stop, all on his own, for nearly two hours, and I really liked how sparse the setting was… the stage is a cavernous empty black space (with only a few items like shopping bags, a pair of shoes, a table). The storyline was interesting enough with some plot twists that were extreme. Several of the songs were very funny, like “anything can happen in a musical” and one song about tinder (using only blue light from two smart phones which was cool to watch).

The Bad: Though I liked many of the songs, I also felt they were overall confusing and did not match the tone of the show and storyline. The songs were disjointed with the storyline. I found the female department store narrator/voiceover odd, especially when she went from making general department store announcements to swearing directly at the character.

The Ugly: I sat in the front row, which is 100% not the right move for this show, since Pat routinely comes right up to the front row and invades the audience’s personal space. It’s very stressful and intense, because I was seriously worried that Pat would interact with, yell, and/or accidentally spit on me. Examples of this were:

  • A man in the front row, a few seats to my left, was muttering in the beginning of the show and walked out because his personal space was continually being invaded.
  • A woman named “Jessica” was very aggressively called out by Pat for using a phone, and it was intense and uncomfortable to watch. Phone use should not happen, but where is the line on calling this behavior out… I’m on the fence.
  • An elderly woman was called out by Pat for sleeping… felt way too aggressive.
  • Also another older woman was called out for fidgeting with her purse in the front row… yikes.

The Summary: I really liked sparse set and one-person performance, because it must be such a challenging undertaking. I would have liked a happy ending since the rest of the show was very dark and depressing. All-in-all, it was a lot of tension and extremely uncomfortable to experience the call-outs.

Rating: 1/5 – Extremely uncomfortable to experience.

By David Bramante
December 1, 2019