Tuesday, February 03, 2009


photo: Carol Rosegg

The dialogue in Jeffrey Sweet's play, set following a high school reunion, tells us why the successful celebrity film critic (Richard Kind) elects to spend an evening with the blue collar bum (Kevin Greer) who bullied him all through high school, but after a certain point the situation strains credibility. The bully isn't especially contrite, and his antisemitism and bitter hostility toward the liberal elite are so obvious that the critic seems like he's asking for trouble by hanging around. Trouble comes, on cue, when fellow ex-classmate Iris (Michelle Pawk) drops in and rekindles the critic's long-held torch. The ensuing business comes as no surprise, since the playwright has oversold the veiled menace in the bully's dialogue right from the start. Still, Kind and Pawk give terrific, well-judged naturalistic performances, expertly scaled for the intimacy of the tiny 78th Street Theater Lab.

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