Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lonely, I'm Not

You'll certainly not be lonely in the cozy Theatre @ 43rd Street watching Paul Weitz' world premier comedy at Second Stage but you may be tad bored after about an hour or so.  The strikingly sparse and modern sets/projections by Mark Wendland and Aaron Rhyne are impeccably lit by Matt Frey.  A plethora of neon - or at least neon-looking LED illuminated - signs placed all over the back of the set abound - signaling not only the next scene but usually the irony or humor to be presented in said scene.  Direction by Trip Cullman is crisp and clean but the pace needs more punch.  A+ on the technicals with some work in the general energy-level department needed.

But what's it about?  Not a great deal of plot complexity here.  Pretty simple actually.  Porter (Topher Grace) was a successful guy.  Nervous breakdown.  Geeky cute.  Recovering.  Neurotic.  Heather (Olivia Thirlby) is an overachieving, successful blind woman.  Takes liking to nervous breakdown geeky cute guy.   Sidekicks, acquaintances, and other multiple characters played with aplomb by 4 additional actors (Mark Blum, Lisa Emery, Christopher Jackson, Maureen Sebastian).  All good.  Strike that.  Very good.   My only complaint is that after about 60 minutes, you're ready for the punch line and it doesn't come for another 30.  Best scene in the play - Job Interview.

William Shakespeare's advice still stands.  Brevity is [still] the soul of wit.