A play by Rachel Axler/Directed by Pamela MacKinnon
Starring Cassie Beck, Greg Keller and Brian Sgambati
Performances through February 7, 2010
The Women’s Project, 424 West 55th Street
Axler’s plot moves along a fairly mundane path: Nick starts messing up at work, reading philosophical tomes and planting bizarre questions about killing God’s creatures that are outside the census bureau’s purview; while Colby slowly becomes more maternal with Cassandra, which begins after she sews a toy out of the sleeves she cut off from her clothes. Too bad Axler’s insight into how this couple deals with their situation is so clichéd, highlighted by a semi-happy ending of understanding and maturity that seems merely tacked on.
Axler comes up with several good one-liners, which isn’t surprising, considering that she wrote for The Daily Show and the sitcom Parks and Recreation. But her couple, caught between the playwright’s first instinct (absurdity) and fall-back position at the end (realism), are too obviously manipulated, and the final result falls far short of her set-up.
Pam MacKinnon’s breezy direction focuses on the unseen baby, whose carriage is criss-crossed by various tubes and emits flashing lights and beeps to convey her own responses to what’s going on around her. Cassie Beck’s Colby, Greg Keller’s Nick and Brian Sgambati’s Pete are pitch-perfect, yet the actors and their characters are, finally, undermined by their author.
originally posted on timessquare.com