(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
In Erica Lipez's new play at Second Stage Uptown, we meet Joe, Toby and Heidi, friends since college and now roommates, struggling with very little success to make a go of their Facebook-wanabee website. Toby (Keith Nobbs) and Heidi (Audrey Dollar) put in lonely hours running the website while outside man Joe (Matt Dellapina) allegedly tries to line up investors. To support themselves, Joe and Toby tutor wealthy high school students, while Heidi edits admission essays online. She has fantasies about Kwan (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a client from Hong Kong, whom she turns into an imaginary confidant and lover. And then the real Kwan shows up. Last but not least is Milo (Chris Perfetti), a spoiled rich kid who disrupts the status quo when he blackmails his way into their lives. The situations are intriguing, the characters are vivid, the cast is excellent, but the play seemed like it needed more work. The ending is particularly flat. Rachel Hauck's set captures the feel of an apartment shared by three young people. Heidi's messy bedroom speaks volumes about her. Jessica Jahn's costumes are inconspicuously appropriate. Thomas Kail's direction is assured. The play has its flaws, but it reveals a talent to watch. Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes with intermission.