the aughts

“Everything Everything Everything”: 2 friends end an era.

Action/Adventure hosts a new touring Seattle show that already feels nostalgic.

Wesley K. Andrews and Ilvs* Strauss are real-life besties; they have been since high school. They know each other better than we’ll ever know either of them, which only becomes more obvious as they try to tell the rest of us their story. “Everything Everything Everything,” at Action/Adventure from Oct. 24 to Nov. 2, is billed as “a narrative performance with acoustic music,” but proves mostly the former, a tandem monologue that the pair performs seated next to their guitar and glockenspiel. Above their heads, a slide show serves Instagram-y images of landscapes and an assortment of seemingly-unrelated old group photos of strangers.

YES, Ilvs and Wes finish each other’s sentences. YES, they exchange conspiratorial glances and indulge in (scripted) tangents of petty-but-affectionate argument. And NO, they don’t seem to care what we think. They live in their mutually affirming feedback loop, thank you, and we’re just visiting.

Ilvis Strauss and Wesley K. Anderson share their recent past...and put a decade's clichés reluctantly to rest.

Ilvs Strauss and Wesley K. Anderson share their recent past…and put a decade’s clichés reluctantly to rest.

Ilvs is a lesbian and Wes is a straight man, and their story spans the time period (circa 2005) when they shared a Capitol Hill, Seattle apartment. They called their home “the dugout” (“…because some ladies ’bout ta get dug OUT!” they remark, making a point to be ironically and not sincerely crude.) Enter Lauren McNally, a girl they BOTH kissed in high school. She’s visiting the city on a mysterious business trip and acts surprisingly eager to pal around with the pair. Her presence, of course, sparks a competition between the friends, who each vow they’ll do “everything, everything, everything” to win her. This culminates in a misguided and poorly-planned pilgrimage to a Dave Matthews concert in the Gorge. As the two unreliable narrators take turns exalting her, our detached suspicion of Lauren grows. But a different realization dawns on the friends: they don’t need her as much as they need each other.

On the whole, the story is engaging and heart-felt, full of surprises, enlivened by details, and rhapsodized with romantic swells and swoons.

Told to you as if by your own friends, it’s a yarn you’ll probably enjoy, and you’re not likely to forget. But…


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