Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Humans Anonymous

There's a famous quote that goes "Comedy is getting what you wish for, tragedy is getting what you deserve." Humans Anonymous is certainly a comedy along those lines, one that follows Ellen as she at last breaks her curse of continually depressing dates by finding the man of her dreams (SmartyPants17) over the Internet. Sadly for her, what she actually deserves is the woman of her dreams, Jenny (not Lenny), a lovable klutz who, despite being turned down once the mistake is realized, sets out to win Ellen's heart (or to at least make her happier) by an anonymous admirer. She's abetted in this by Ellen's employee, Peter (who is tellingly also her best friend), who agrees that the best thing for Ellen may be the last thing she wants. Of course, Kate Hewlett's play began as a one-act for the Toronto Fringe, and the seams where it's been expanded are showing, most tellingly in the side plot with Arden and Gema, two lovable characters who just happen to be as awkward for the script as they are for society. And while the jokes are mostly wildly successful at keeping the momentum going, there are still more than a few that seem forced, no matter how much the actors manage to put behind them. But don't let this minor nitpicking encourage you to remain anonymous to the theater: this play is a riot with a human heart, and it showcases a lot of upcoming talents.

[Read on]

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