Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Four Of Us

photo: Joan Marcus

A plot synopsis will tell you that Itamar Moses' new comic drama concerns two buddies who are both aspiring writers and that one becomes wildly successful while the other does not. But that's only what's on the surface: the highly enjoyable two-hander mines a lot more than the envy you expect from their dynamic. Although the flashbacks and flashforwards are once or twice a tad disorienting, and a couple of scenes may go on just a bit too long, the play has a pleasurably relaxed ryhthm that allows us to savor the often funny and easily identifiable ways that the characters reveal themselves. The play is wise, amusing and quietly touching in its depiction of a friendship between two well-meaning, likeable people that can not hold as is against life's changes: you don't have to be a writer to relate to that. The snappy production (at MTC's smaller space) also boasts two excellent performances from Michael Esper and Gideon Banner, who have believable good-friends chemistry together and who both perfectly nail the style of the piece. Highly recommended.

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