Sunday, August 18, 2013

rogerandtom ***

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
If you are looking for something a bit different, head to HERE in SoHo for Personal Space Theatrics' revival of Julien Schwab's Pirandellian comedy. First off, the clever set design by David Esler will grab your attention: a typical urban apartment suggested by room outlines taped to the floor with a few furnishings including a sofa, a toilet and sink, a miniature bed and taut horizontal wires to indicate each room's corners. The apartment is occupied by Penny (Suzy Jane Hunt), whose soon-to-be ex-husband Richard (Richard Thieriot) is in the process of moving out. Suzy is awaiting the arrival of her brother Roger (Eric T. Miller), who is due shortly to join her for the opening night of a play by their brother Tom, from whom he has long been estranged. Instead, Richard arrives with one last box to pack up. When Penny calls Roger to find out why he is late, a cellphone goes off in the audience. The phone belongs to Roger, whom Richard (or William if you prefer -- the name of the actor allegedly playing Richard) badgers to come up onstage and join the play. Thus, the fun begins. Roger says he has no sister. Penny claims to be unaware that she is an actress in a play. And so it goes for 65 minutes. I will confess that for me, the inventiveness got a bit stale before the play ended. I think it would be better as a 30-minute one-acter. Nevertheless, the actors are uniformly excellent, the direction by Nicholas Cotz is assured, and the attempt to stray from the tried-and-true was refreshing.

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