Add to the growing list of theatre soloists specializing in characterizations Alexander Lyras, a former bartender and office nine-to fiver now adapting people he's observed into his show, Desperelics, playing at Off-Off-Broadway's Gene Frankel Theatre.
Originally scheduled to run through Feb. 15, the monologues (which are occasionally backed by on stage guitarist Eric Chess), have been extended to Mar. 1. Performances began Jan. 15.
The desperate denizens of Desperelics include a brilliant college professor who crams in a year's worth of philosophical study into each lecture (and also back-peddles on pedophilia charges that have gotten him bounced from Columbia University); a middle-aged Jewish lady both repelled by and still attracted to her husband; a high-paid but low-level office clerk who channels his rage into drugs and alcohol; a low-key drug dealer forced to turn his supplier in to the cops; and an elderly Greek man cautioning his grandson about losing his heritage.
Directed by Robert McCaskill, Desperelics is staged by New Mercury Players, which produced Jodie's Body, another solo now poised for a commercial Off-Broadway run.
Lyras' theatre credits include performances at the Harold Clurman Theatre, the ArcLight, the Henry Street Settlement and Nada. His resume lists such skills as: music (flute, percussion and guitar), sports (fencing, soccer, scuba) and "phenomenal parallel parker." For tickets ($15) and information on Desperelics at the Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street, call (212) 505-0099.
-- By David Lefkowitz