Sunday, March 02, 2008

FRIGID '08: Diversey Harbor

There's not much theatrically going on in Annie Coburn's direction of Diversey Harbor, but she's really nailed down the acting, which in turn has cemented playwright Marisa Wegrzyn's very young, very talented voice. Her monologued play feels like a cross between Brooke Berman and Connor McPherson; I only wish that the ghost story she introduces late in the game tied more into the other loosely connected narratives, or better still, remained grounded in the sort of grim reality that can call craigslist "a dark alley littered with crack pipes," sum up a character with "I'm off to watch Jerry Springer with my thumb in my vagina," and honestly depict the cavalier attitude of some Lotharios: "It's entirely possible that I'm about to fuck up someone's life. And I can't wait." From the laid-back, drinking dog-walker James (Avery Pearson) to the selfish and angry Dennis (Dorien Makhloghi), to the high-strung Grace (Dana Berger) to the carefully poised and meticulous Stephanie (Amanda Sayle), Wegrzyn presents four very human chapters in life and loss, and, up until Stephanie's encounter with some muddy footprints, has a very funny and fresh look at kids today.

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