Sunday, December 4, 2011
Close Up Space *
The title of Molly Smith Metzler's new play at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage I refers to a proofreading instruction. As I suffered through its long 90 minutes, it crossed my mind that the title might well be an imperative for MTC. If they can't find better plays to fill their space at City Center than the two duds we have had so far this season (the other being We Live Here), perhaps they have too much space to fill. When one purchases a subscription, one doesn't expect that every play will be a masterpiece, but one does expect better than this. The cartoonish characters include an editor (David Hyde Pierce) alienated from his teen-age daughter (Colby Minifie), who has been expelled from her latest boarding school; a socially challenged office manager (Michael Chernus); a demanding author (Rosie Perez) and a naive intern from Vassar (Jessica DiGiovanni). The twists and turns of the plot make no sense at all. Leigh Silverman, who did so well directing Chinglish, can't get this turkey to fly. A clever set by Todd Rosenthal is wasted here. Maybe MTC should cut its budget for scenic design and put that money into finding better plays.