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The Richmond Performing Arts Collective serves up something to savor with "Some Kind of Pink Breakfast." 

"Breakfast" of Champions

For a refresher course on what the catch phrase "thinking outside of the box" really means, check out the Richmond Performing Arts Collective's "Some Kind of Pink Breakfast." Refusing to be limited by worn-out ideas of what theater should be, RPAC has put together an invigorating evening of music, comedy, drama and even trivia. It's stripped-down, flesh-and-blood entertainment, served raw without condiments. And one of the best times I've had in ages.

The centerpiece of the production is an impressive one-man show written and performed by the ingenious Chris Harcum. Filled to overflowing with references to the 1980s and the decade's coming-of-age movies, the semi-autobiographical piece is a whirlwind of insight and emotion. Harcum has delivered sizzling performances in fringe productions in the past, and here he proves his mettle again, tossing off precise characterizations of everybody from his parents to redneck bullies to the object of his high school crush. But Harcum has created more than just a vehicle for his acting talent. "Pink Breakfast" is a lyrical prose-poem that captures the bizarre transitional time that is adolescence. Using only a chair as a prop and with the effective accompaniment of guitarist Pat Cowling, Harcum spins a tale that is original in its wit and fervor, universal in its theme and appeal.

The show opens with Cowling playing a set of acoustic originals. (He will be joined by his band, Mao II, for most performances.) He covers tunes from the '80s at other points in the show, including a rousing version of R.E.M.'s "It's The End of the World as We Know It" as the evening's coda. Also spicing up the night is comic actor Ray Bullock who offers an occasionally vulgar bit of stand-up called "Shades of Blue." While bigger on energy than comedy, it is still an effective appetizer for Harcum's bravura "Breakfast."

"Some Kind of Pink Breakfast" runs at Main Street Grill at 8 p.m. Thursday - Saturday through May 15. Tickets are $5-$7. Call 648-2271 for
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