The Bug, a Reno Little Theater production, is a study in fun.
Written by Richard Strand and directed by Jim Martin, the play chronicles the mission of overly paranoid Dennis Post (RN&R contributor Scott Reeves) as he tries to ensure that he won’t be transferred to St. Louis for his job at Jericho, Inc., ensuring a mix of hilarity and workplace corruption.
Post begins by taking his concerns to the top, stumbling into the administration office to inform them repeatedly that he doesn’t want to be transferred or fired. At first, he’s given the hassle, but soon, secretary Linda Taylor (Annikki Larsson) warms up to Post and hears him out, even after he knocks over all of her papers and proceeds to shove them up her dress.
In the midst of Post’s frantic period of pleading, he reveals that nobody in assembly has ever seen or met their supervisor, who was hired three years previous by Kimberly Miles (a hilarious Ellen Reiterman), also in administration. Post is then grilled for information, leading to the revelation of another conspiracy—that Jericho, Inc. has been hiding a $400k slush fund.
After Post is pushed into filing a report that claims his supervisor has been MIA since the day he was hired, Post is made to restate his complaint to the ever-so-serious David Rajeski (Rob Shader). Rajeski gives Post such a hard time that Post’s paranoia seeps in further, leading him to believe that Rajeski has planned a mass assassination, wherein Post is the No. 1 target.
This leads to a wrestling match between Rajeski and Post, as Post tries to take away a gun he spots in the desk of Rajeski, assuming the bullets inside were meant for him. The gun fires twice, resulting in the explosion of both Miles and Taylor’s computers.
The chaos and carnage is met with company president, Mark Kropp’s ridiculous attempt at trying to ascertain what’s going on through the use of the company loudspeaker.
Administration informs him that there’s a man with a gun who wants to speak to him, and Kropp allows him into his office.
Moments later, Post exits Kropp’s office looking suspiciously content as he tells administration to ignore everything he’d said about the company’s unethical madness.
We discover Post has now been promoted, and is the new supervisor of assembly. Administration then realizes they’ve never actually seen nor even met Kropp, either. Basically, Jericho, Inc. is made up of high authority figures who don’t come to work but collect their paychecks, anyway.
The acting in The Bug is phenomenal, and each of the characters brings something unique to the company table. Reeves does a great job portraying a paranoid loner with “peculiar taste in clothing.” Larsson is a fabulous actress who incorporates a good amount of physical acting into her role. Reiterman plays the exact replica of one of those people you see in offices who seem to always be thinking, “Go away, you idiots.” Shader pulls together a great mix of seriousness, while at the same time, managing to crack up the audience.
“When this play was presented, the committee thought it was very funny,” says Nancy Podewils, head of Reno Little Theater. “It was a light, new play, and we all thought it was so fun. We have a great cast that brings it to life. … And the feedback received has been just as encouraging.”
Feedback, she says, like someone telling her it’s “a piss your pants” kind of comedy, a rare but great compliment in the world of the theater.