Sunday, August 26, 2007

FRINGE: Susan Gets Some Play

Being single in the city sucks, and dating is hard. But if it could always be as funny as in Adam Szymkowicz's Susan Gets Some Play, then we'd at least have something to look forward to. This show builds on everything Szymkowicz developed in last year's Nerve (it even pairs the two leads again), but escapes the easy situational comedy of a blind date by building the story around a real (albeit metadramatic) heart: Susan Louise O'Connor's, to be specific. You see, the plot of the play revolves around a director (Kevin R. Free) who creates a play solely to find Susan a boyfriend. We, the audience, get to watch (and perhaps take part in) auditions, then to delight in the growing farce. But Susan Gets Some Play is grounded in her likable innocence, and sparkling honesty: when she talks about how nice it would be simply to be held (even if she has to play a character for no pay, no lines, and a terrible commute), it seems blissfully sincere. Mortiz von Stuelpnagel's direction amplifies the ridiculous, but remains elastic enough to snap back into seriousness. Comedy is built on such distortions of mood; this production has near perfected the necessity of equal parts silly and sincere.

[Also reviewed by: Patrick]

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