School Days

Besides death and taxes, the other "inevitable" event in most people's lives is the high school reunion. Those who weren't voted most popular or involved in sports tend to deliberate on their attendance, weighing the thought of seeing people they want to see against the thought of seeing people they never want to see again. Writer/actor Chris Harcum has turned his ambivalence into a one-man show, Some Kind of Pink Breakfast. He takes the audience back to the 1980's, where memories of his bizarre high school experience get muddled with the names of the characters from the movies and bands of the era. Using only a wooden folding chair as a prop and backed by sound effects, he creates various locations, from school to the family dinner table to his girlfriend's car at a make-out spot.

Harcum embodies his teenage self as well as the kids, relatives, and authority figures in his world, switching between personas by using a different accent and body posture. He gets the essence of these people across without the manic antics or slavery to perfection that mark lesser solo performers. Moreover, there's something so natural and honest about his acting; he puts up no emotional barriers between himself and his audience, which makes his storytelling all the more affecting and effective.

In the chorus to the theme from The Breakfast Club, the band Simple Minds sings, "Don't you forget about me." It is unlikely that anyone in attendance at Some Kind of Pink Breakfast will forget the events of Chris Harcum's past. Here's hoping that when his 20th reunion rolls around in 2008, he's already made other plans.

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