The search for these answers covers Boryla's football career. His journey rambles through digressions and asides that pop to mind (plus a few anecdotes thrown in to acknowledge Eagles veteran Frank LeMaster, who attended opening night). Boryla's delivery contains a few old-man-isms - the odd loss of place (real or feigned?), an exasperated style, and trite metaphors - but all told with a sharp sense of humor and well-timed surprises that held the audience rapt throughout. Digressions touch on French medieval architecture, Sun Tzu's strategy manual The Art of War, and the barbarian invasion of Rome, turning professional football into a sociopolitical activity ripe for severe criticism.
Daniel Student's direction adds weight through thought-provoking pacing and blocking that has Boryla conclude each anecdote by retiring one more piece of football paraphernalia.
All of Boryla's adventures end with one exaggerated conclusion after another, but his integrated perspective (a higher compliment: this man possesses tremendous integrity) unified his search into a compelling, deeply human story that blends a dash of Spalding Gray, the existential quest of Beckett's hobos, and the beauty of a tightly thrown spiral.
Is that hyperbole? Sure, but when hearing true tales of helicopters chauffeuring owners to training camps, million-dollar payouts, and linebackers nearly drowning on the football field during the Mud Bowl, hyperbole is probably a better way to respond than compliments.
The Disappearing Quarterback. Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Place. Tickets: $25-$30. Information: 866-811-4111, playsandplayers.org.