Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, February 26, 2015


There's a new play over at Playwrights Horizons that in 100 minutes gets you thinking about life, decisions you make, and what those decisions are based on.  While the play is well acted by all 4 of its fine actors, it's writer hasn't put enough meat on the bone to make it compelling.  She leaves paths unexplored, ideas unexplained, and frankly leaves the audience wondering was there a story here or not?

For sure it's filled with the idea of decisions make and the facts and non-facts that lead us to those decisions.   Was it real?  I'm left to guess that she had to throw in the source of the term placebo from way back in time to the fake mourners that were hired to attend and cry at a funeral just to link her material to the idea.  By coincidence one of the characters is a medical researcher doing a trial of a new drug.  Her boyfriend is a PhD candidate at the very end of his thesis.  They have a strained and awkward relationship.  She has a weird but cute co-worker.  It's all very superficial and we never really get to know the characters in any depth yet we are made to sit 100 minutes to observe all these goings on with little to no explanations or conclusions to the entire affair.

Carrie Coon (Louise) is a magnificent neurotic and lost soul despite the fact that we never learn her character's name till about ¾ the way through the play.  William Jackson Harper (Jonathan) is a pro at the serious academic with a focused mind and serious outlook.  Alex Hurt (Tom) is superb at being aloof and weird all with a sexy and alluring edge.  Florence Lozano (Mary) might have the most fun role in the play as a research candidate in a sex pill study.

All thing considered, it's the lack of focus and depth in the material that damages this play's impact which does have a compelling baseline idea.  It provides food for thought but it's only a snack and you leave the theater wondering if you got the real thing or not.