Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kingdom Come ** C-

Jenny Rachel Weiner’s romantic comedy with poignant overtones is the latest offering at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box Theatre. Somewhat like LCT3, this program offers first-rate productions of works by emerging playwrights at affordable prices. Looking around at the audience, Roundabout seems to be more successful than LCT3 in drawing a younger audience. If you saw “Catfish,” you have an idea of the plot, except that in this instance both people are using deceitful online profiles. The twist is that they genuinely fall for each other. How the situation is resolved isn’t quite what you may expect. The characters are Samantha (Carmen M. Herlihy), a morbidly obese woman who rarely leaves her bed; Dolores (Socorro Santiago), Samantha’s home health aide; Dolores’s studly son Dominick (Alex Hernandez), an actor/busboy in L.A.; Layne (Crystal Finn), a repressed lonely bookkeeper; and Suz (Stephanie Styles), Layne’s younger, prettier, less inhibited coworker. Deceit breeds complications. The personable actors all make the most of their roles. There are some funny moments and clever twists along the way, but the material seemed thin and a bit forced. The set by Arnulfo Maldonado is simple but attractive. Tilly Grimes’s costumes are apt. Kip Fagan’s direction is smooth. Most of the audience reacted enthusiastically. For me, it was one online dating story too many. Running time: one hour 40 minutes, no intermission.

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