I commend the Grove Theater Center for putting on works as challenging as "Bobby and Matt." Kevin Cochran's exciting new play about two friends who endure war, personal hardship and love over the course of a lifetime, is just one of many new works the theater company is showcasing under its New Play Initiative. Told through letters of correspondence, "Bobby and Matt" is a complex, and at times sobering story, about two men from different upbringings, the challenges they face and their undying commitment to one another.
It's the late 1950s and Bobby and Matt are young boys. The notes they pass in grade school reveal the men they will become. Matt comes from a strict military family, and moves around a lot, while Bobby's mother is a serial divorcee.
"I think my mom has a thing for coaches," Bobby writes, after his mother marries the school's wrestling instructor.
It's clear that Bobby (Frank Simons) has little interest in girls, and when Matt (David Allen Jones) gives him a ride home one night after he gets drunk, Bobby admits how he "enjoyed being alone in the car" with his best friend. It's one of the first times Bobby reveals he's not like other boys.