Friday, August 08, 2008
Summer Shorts 2: Series B
For those of you who have been keeping tabs on this race, you know that there's only one thing I love more than aesthetics, and that's festivals--where else can you catch such an eclectic variety of shows all at once? Compressing so much work often leads to a lot of misfires, all at once, but it also means that when a show succeeds, it really leaves a mark. For Series B, that's Terrance McNally and Skip Kennon's mini-musical, Plaisir D'Amour. It's the most polished of the eight plays, with outstanding performances from Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Jonathan C. Kaplan as they chronicle a relationship from the desperate single life to the troubled married life and eventually, with their own children now married, to the comfortable afterglow of a once passionate life. Far too many one-acts, even decent ones, come across as ultimately empty etudes, but this musically simplistic piece does for a transient comedy what Prelude & Liebestod did for drama.