Saturday, August 11, 2007

...Double Vision

photo: Jim Baldassare

An uneasy mix of farcical comedy and cynical relationship drama, this Fringe Festival one-act works best when its characters are in full-on comic neurotic mode; it falters when it tries to go deeper than a sitcom. The story involves a half dozen single New Yorkers (three men who share an apartment, and three women who are involved with them in one way or another) but it noticeably lacks big city flavor - it's no more urban than an episode of Friends. One guy can't muster up the courage to tell his girlfriend to stay with him rather than take that new job out in California, another only hooks up with married women, another breaks away from the throes of a passion with a French girl half his age to get a taste of someone else. The theme of men resisting commitment is in here somewhere, but the play's individual moments stay isolated and don't accumulate emotionally or thematically; by the play's end, when one of the guys wanders around the stage naked, there's every indication that we're meant to find his actions sobering and serious, but the jokey, snickering play hasn't earned that.

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