Written by Eddie Antar, “The Navigator” opens tonight, Thursday, April 20, and runs the whole weekend: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. This will be the comedy’s North Central premiere, after first appearing in a Chicago Fringe Festival.
According to the director, Dr. Laura Lodewyck, “The Navigator” is about a man named Dave (played by John Bihun) whose life is just not working out how he wants. Dave has been out of work for six months, has kids to support, and a wife who’s near the end of her ropes. He’s on the way home from a job interview wishing for someone to point him in the right direction in life when all of a sudden the GPS navigator in his car (played by Jordan DePhillips) starts to give him life advice rather than turn-by-turn directions. Told from Dave’s perspective through discussions with his GPS, the play follows the adventures of Dave and his family and friends.
The cast is comprised of only four actors: Dave, the navigator and two actors who play a variety of characters throughout Dave’s life (played by Cody Talkie and Upasna Barath). The small size of the cast has both its upsides and downsides. Although physically exhausting for the actors, the small cast allows for “a chance to dig in, to bond as an ensemble, to work together, and to live in this imaginative world together,” says Dr. Lodewyck. “The cast and production team have been phenomenal and have brought a lot of really exciting choices to the stage.”
This show does not feel small, keeping you laughing nearly the whole time yet also bringing up real world questions and relatable situations.
Arguably one of the worst surprises is deciding to attend a play and then realizing you’ve committed to watching a three-hour-long depressing drama. Luckily for light-hearted theatregoers, “The Navigator” is a quick 90-minute (100 with an intermission) comedy that is a great way to kill spare time this weekend. An odd mixture of sci-fi and fairytale-esque themes, “The Navigator” will leave you asking: what happens when you get your wish granted? Is this what you really wanted?
“That’s the nature of theater here on a college campus: we move out and another show moves in,” says Lodewyck. “Catch it before it’s gone!”