Stones In His Pockets at Theater Latté Da Featuring Tom Reed Sigmund

Production Photo

Stones in His Pockets is Performed by only two actors Tom Reed and Reed Sigmund but they people the stage with more than a dozen different characters. Providing a rich Irish soundtrack that adds emotion and depth are Jason Hansen and Theresa Elliott. Hansen in the role of Music Director and Composer is on the Piano, Keyboard, Guitar, and the Bodhran with Elliott on an beautifully expressive violin. It tells the story of a Hollywood film crew that has come to an Irish village to make a movie; however, it isn’t the story of the interlopers but of the villagers who are hired on as extras. It’s a contrast between the dream makers and those who have lost theirs or are struggling to keep them alive. The two primary characters are Charlie Conlon played by Tom Reed who lost his Video Store business when a big chain came to his town. So he packed up and has been traveling around Ireland with his tent, he’s loving the 40 pounds a day pay and free meals, but his dream is to get someone on the set to read the screenplay he’s written. He’s befriended by Jake Quinn played by Reed Sigmund who has recently returned home to the village from America because he says got homesick, or perhaps America didn’t live up to his dreams. Now he’s back and on the dole living with his Ma and doesn’t know what to do or seem to have faith in himself. 

It cannot be overstated how wonderful the performances are by Reed and Sigmund two truly gifted comedic actors at the top of the game in roles they were made to play. 

There is a lot of humor played out through a rich tapestry of characters all played with amazing specitivity by Reed and Sigmund. Within seconds an actor will turn around, pop on a cap or throw a scarf around their head, and be another character. At some points there is a conversation happening between more than two characters, astonishingly the performers have made such clear distinctions between the characters that the audience is never lost. Charlie and Jake are the most fully formed characters and are played not only with great wit but with a real compassion and relatability. They are the emotional center and comedic heart of the play, their journey from extras to dreamers is as beautiful as it is hilarious. Two characters any actor would feel privileged to play and then to add another half dozen of so and it’s either maddenly hard work or joyfully fulfilling. Hopefully a nice helping of both. There are so many wonderful side characters male and female that they play and they do it with wonderful Irish accents and Hollywood self importance, depending on the role. The accents are thick at the beginning and for a minute you might be a little worried, but it takes approximately two and a half minutes to tune into them and then I had no trouble following the dialogue. It cannot be overstated how wonderful the performances are by Reed and Sigmund two truly gifted comedic actors at the top of the game in roles they were made to play. 

The play written by Marie Jones is masterful in the way it brings characters in and out of scenes in a way that the two performers can play all the roles. Would it be as good if there were 12 actors? The story would hold up, but there is an element of joy that would be lost. There is something about watching actors working like this that just adds to the experience. Marcela Lorca Directs the play keeping everything moving and flowing beautifully. Blocking the actors so that we always know when they have changed characters might seem simple, but it’s essential that every change has a visual cue to the audience and Lorca does the work to make those clear and yet unobtrusive. A nice choice was to have the actors do bows as their different characters at the end, they each had some prop or costume piece that we came to identify them with but the body language also changed and even without any dialogue you knew for whom you were applauding. With so many character changes the set design like the costumes need to be simple and versatile and Benjamin Olsen as scenic Designer and Kathy Maxwell as the Projections Designer have found a way to accomplish this and still give us a sense of the place. The use of projection is used to provide the background not as a special effect. The choice to have Jason Hansen compose and perform the wonderful Irish soundtrack and to even have them interact slightly was a brilliant choice, between the accents, the setting, and the music you leave having felt like you just spent two hours in Ireland. 

Photo credit: Dan Norman 

Stones in His Pockets runs through February 25th at Theater Latté Da in Northeast Minneapolis. For more information and to purchase tickets go to

Don’t want to miss a single review from The Stages of MN? You can subscribe and have every post sent directly to your email. To subscribe on your computer: from the home page on the right, enter your email address and click subscribe. On your mobile device scroll to the bottom of the page and do the same. You can also follow me on Facebook, @thestagesofmn click follow and on Instagram thestagesofmn. You can also read some of my reviews syndicated on the MN Playlist website

I am also a member of the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers (TCTB), where you can read roundups of shows by my colleagues and I when you follow us on facebook @TwinCitiesTheaterBloggers. We also produce the podcast Twin Cities Theater Chat!! which you can access through this link or wherever you enjoy podcasts . We post biweekly longer form episodes that will focus on interviews and discussions around theater topics. There is also shorter episodes in which we Bloggers tell you what we think you should get out and see as well as what we have on our schedules that we are most looking forward too.

Headshot of Rob Dunkelberger
Rob Dunkelberger

Rob is a member of the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers and their podcast Twin Cities Theater Chat as well as a syndicating contributor to Minnesota Playlist. Read all his content