July 20, 2003
For more about Lynn Trenning, please visit her main page.
Halfway through the hilarious play [sic], I wanted to see it again. It contains too many priceless lines to absorb in one sitting. They are spoken by three quirky young adults who live next door to each other in tiny New York City apartments.|
Director Allison Modafferiís version of Melissa James Gibsonís Obie Award winning comedy has the rhythm of an avant-garde jazz trio. The actors perform sparkling solos in their own apartments, and fuse together in their common hallway.
In true Seinfeldian fashion, this is a play about nothing that considers many subjects. Theo, Babette and Frank met by chance through a friend named Larry. Now they share a landlord, and as Frank muses, "thereís nothing more bond inducing than sharply focused ill-will." Or close proximity.
The play is a sophisticated combination of imaginative dialogue, farcical comings and goings, and inventive personal asides for each character. The potential for awkwardness among threesomes is maximized as the charactersí attractions, dreams and desires are revealed.
The strangely open set is a metaphor for the breed of physical intimacy imposed by close quarters. Freestanding doors are omnipresent portals for passion, friction, and possibility. All knocks are answered. There are no walls, but each apartment has a window, which offers the characters the illusion of control.
The process of character building takes the place of a plot in [sic]. Theo, played with various shades of mania by Aaron Moore, is an aspiring composer working on a theme song for an amusement park ride. Nicia Carla takes her acting to a new level as the sexy, intellectual Babette, who is writing a book on "the desconstruction of the outburst." Peter Smealís Frank wants to be an auctioneer. Watching him perform tongue twisters is worth the price of admission.
The pacing of the play is busy without being frantic. In one scene Theo doodles on the keyboard, Babette shoves quarters into paper casings, and Frank listens to his educational auctioneering cassette. The competing motions are kinetic but not chaotic.
According to Websterís, [sic] is a Latin term used "to denote that a wording has been written intentionally." In other words the mistake is not the responsibility of its reporter; the blame belongs elsewhere.
Lynn Trenning, July 20, 2003