Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Annie (Marianna McClellan) needs help. She's broken things off with the love of her life after catching him neck deep in some gymnastic cheating, and she's just moved into a slum, trying to outrun her tears. What she gets is a new friend, Donald (Doug Nyman) an aggressively outgoing neighbor who shows up, LIKE AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, to help her adjust. This means forcing her to confront everything she's been running from (which is everything: she "cares too much in a world that doesn't give a shit"). First up, her hopelessly smitten coworker, Elliot (a bland Jay Rohloff), who happens to be a Catholic. I'm not sure why that's important, except that Jeff Daniels, who wrote the play, turns the end of the first act into a twenty minute debate between unconvinced, liberal Annie, and inexplicably faithful Elliot. This is complicated by Annie's simultaneous recounting of these events to Donald, a trick of staging that director Owen Smith fails at. The second act, post-coitus, is even worse, as the discussion tries to link back to religion: her double-digit orgasm is a "gift from god." It's not clear why Elliot is suddenly so brazen, nor why Annie is so open with Donald, and aside from a passably comic routine, there's very little revealed about character. Ultimately, that's the problem with Apartment 3A: the door's wide open, but nobody's home.