Chris Davis’ ‘Drunk Lion’ set loose on Philly
Over the past year, playwright Chris Davis has been developing a highly personal one-man show based on his three-year stay in Chiapas, Mexico. The result, “Drunk Lion,” will be performed this weekend at Quig’s Pub, upstairs from Plays and Players Theater.
“Everyone that saw the piece contributed to it, really. It was kind of strange: I’d show up at a friend’s house with a suitcase, and be like, ‘Hey, let me do my show,’” says Davis.
Directed by Mary Tuomanen — co-founder of the locally revered experimental troupe Applied Mechanics — the show mines the desperate, personal, drunken longings of the men Davis encountered in his village’s cantina. “When I was living in Mexico, I was grappling with some really big questions,” he explains. “I think the script reflects that. For me, the lion became a kind of personal symbol for the whole chaotic, huge, sometimes violent, sometimes beautiful country.”
Performing the piece is no small task: Over the course of 70 minutes, Davis plays himself, the lion, the lion’s lover and about 30 other townspeople to boot, mixing Spanish and English along the way.
“I had no experience with small town life before I went to Mexico,” he says. “Everyone knows everyone. You say ‘hi’ to everyone on the street. There’s so much commerce in the streets: food trucks everywhere, people selling things, hustling around. I tried to capture the whole feel of the town. I was just in awe of it.”
If you go
Friday, 10 p.m.
Saturday, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
Quig’s Pub, 1714 Delancey St.