photo: Deanna R. Frieman
Here's a rarity: a bunch of guys (all hetero, save one) dealing with their issues of "masculine intimacy" in a play that isn't out to damn them or to damn testosterone in general. In this sometimes poignant and largely cliche-free dramedy (by Blair Singer) the buddies who reunite some years after college over drinks and pizza are believable regular guys whose bonds with each other, formed in post-adolescence, have been revised in the transition to adulthood. Some of their conflicts, such as the strain between the now-sober musician and the eternal drunk who used to be his best friend, seem like they're going to be been-there done-that but the resolves are not what you expect; others, such as the realization that a long-standing friendship had been based on idolatry, are things that guys are too seldom depicted talking credibly about. The actors give finely detailed performances that make it very clear that each of the characters' relationships to the others has been thought out: five guys, and one gal who shows up unexpectedly, add up to a high number of interpersonal dynamics and yet my bullshit detector almost never went off. Mark Armstrong's direction allows the drama and humor of the piece while keeping it all grounded in so believable and clear a reality that you could chart the rise of the liquor buzz just by how the actors move around the room. The level of acting is generally impressive in its detail but I must make special mention of Chris Thorn, who plays the kind of sometimes inappropriate, sometimes juvenille goofball you can't help but like no matter how hard you try. He not only puts over most of the play's funny business, he also precisely nails a dead-honest drunk dramatic monologue that is one of the play's most memorable highlights.