Bay St. Louis Little Theatre’s ‘The Enigma’ will make you see obsessions like never before

Cast of The Enigma: Jim Codling, Theresa Geboy, Jeremiah Wright. Standing left to right: Cheryl Grace, Jen Coulter, Jay Kelton, Terry Cullen.
Cast of The Enigma: Jim Codling, Theresa Geboy, Jeremiah Wright. Standing left to right: Cheryl Grace, Jen Coulter, Jay Kelton, Terry Cullen. Bay St. Louis Little Theatre

“Doubt creates monsters for yourself” is an accurate plot summary for “The Enigma,” the second play of the season for Bay St. Louis Little Theatre.

It is a tale of three young adults whose fears actually become manifestations that only they and fortunately, the audience actually see.

The play opens with Stu (Jim Codling) pacing about with anxiety in his apartment. His friend Phil (Jeremiah Wright) arrives after being summoned by Stu for help.

Stu explains that he cannot use the bathroom because there is a tigress (Cheryl Grace) in there. Phil is puzzled by Stu’s claim and looks for her to no avail. Stu is insistent that she is there, and while Phil never sees her, the audience does — pink tutu and all. Through much discussion, Phil advises Stu that the tigress is representative of his fears of strong women based on his relationship with his mother and sister-in-law.

Stu isn’t the only one who sees things that aren’t apparent to others. His neighbor, Nora (Theresa Geboy), has her own monkey on her back — literally a gorilla (Terry Cullen) following her around. He drools and lumbers about after her.

Nora has her own issues she is dealing with, and they are slowly revealed throughout the play. Not even Phil, who seems like the only logical character, is without his own hallucinations.

While there is typical character development, the addition of the personified animals is a delight in this production.

Whether it be the tigress cleaning house and dancing or the gorilla jumping on the couch and picking the fleas off his fur for snacks, the audience is bound to chuckle at their antics.

Most would find this combination of fantasy and reality as unbelievable, but the audience will find that it is quite believable, especially as the play unfolds.

The resolution becomes apparent and is a sweet finish for this comedy that causes one to ponder about life.

“The Enigma,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner, John Patrick, borders on the theatre of the absurd with his one-liners that make the audience ask if a character really just said that?

It also has a touch of timeless political satire and deals with the issue of mental health. Its approach is fun and flirty although it raises serious questions about sanity. Are the characters insane? The mind can be a powerful tool when driven by our fears. Is this insanity or actuality?

The reality is that we all have issues that we deal with; some throughout our entire lives. We either learn to overcome them, live with them, or let them consume us. When they become so ubiquitous that we cannot let them go, our minds, hastened by fear, can play tricks on us. We do not understand what we are experiencing. We have unanswered questions, we have doubts, and we have anxieties. In the end, this play offered by Bay St. Louis Little Theatre proves that we all have our own enigmas.

The Enigma

Presented by: Bay St. Louis Little Theatre

Where: 398 Blaize Avenue

Showtimes and dates: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17, 18, 19; Friday and Saturday Curtain is 8 p.m., Sunday matinee is 2 p.m.

Cast List: Jim Codling (Stu); Jeremiah Wright (Phil); Cheryl Grace (Tigress); Theresa Geboy (Nora); Terry Cullen (Gorilla); Jen Coulter (Enigma 1); Jay Kelton (Enigma 2)

Production Crew: Director: Jim Fraiser; Assistant Director/Producer: Cheryl Grace; Stage Manager: Melissa Kelton; Sound/Lights: Irv Hansen; Set Construction: Dean Noel; Set Décor: Laurie Spaschak; Music/Sound Effects/Poster: Clayton Pennylegion; Pre-show Announcer: Bruce Northridge; Lobby Chair: Christina Richardson

Ticket Prices: $18 general admission; $10 veterans, active military, seniors 65+, student w/ID; $8 children 12 and under

Reservations/details: 228-467-9024