Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

"Double Vision" presented by Fringe NYC Encores at the Culture Project, September 15, 2007

From the promotional materials, "Six singles navigate the tricky waters of urban, modern relationships in this tale of love on the lam."

Yeah, that's what my reaction was too.

Still, this bit of Lifetime TV meets Comedy Central does have a spirited cast with some commendable performances.

Dave (Shane Jacobsen), Mark (Quinn Mattfield) and Ben (Christopher McCann) share an apartment in Queens. All three are single with commitment issues. Dave sabotages every relationship he attempts. Mark is only interested in unavailable women. Ben only wants something passionate that will end before the passion dies.

Neighbor Celia (Linda Jones) lives with a boyfriend who works days while she works nights, but she has a huge crush on Ben. Mary (Rebecca Henderson) has been dating Dave and has an opportunity for a big promotion that would require her to move to California. Michelle (Sarah Silk) is passionately in love with Ben, but is returning to France to finish school the next day.

Director Ari Laura Kreith has assembled this able cast and moves them through their paces.

Mr. Jacobsen is an oozing mass of insecurity, terrified of being responsible for anyone or anything, even himself. He spends the second half of the play naked following a car accident eerily similar to one he described at the beginning of the play. While at first effective to communicate his mental tribulations, the nudity loses it impact quickly.

Mr. Mattfield also acquits himself well in his role, he sums it up "Love. It's a lot like what you didn't ask for - like forks raining down."

Mr. McCann's Ben 12-steps his way through his role as a recovering addict. Ms. Jones' Celia frets and worries herself into bed with Ben, even before his French girlfriend has left town.

All in all, the cast was much better than their material. At 70 minutes without intermission, it could have been just as effective at 40 minutes.

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