Bite-size comedies


Five By Three


Written by Nicole Greevy, Uma Incrocci and Erica Jensen
Directed by Nicole Greevy and Erica Jensen
Numerical Productions (

Midtown International Theater Festival (

WorkShop Theater MainStage, 312 W. 36th St., 4th Floor
Equity showcase (closed
August 4, 2007)
Review by Byrne Harrison


In a festival made up of relatively short ninety-minute plays, it is a pleasant surprise to find that one of those plays, Five by Three, is actually made of up five even shorter plays (and a little bit extra).  The three in the title refers to the playwrights, Nicole Greevy, Uma Incrocci and Erica Jensen who are responsible for them.  While the five plays are a little hit-or-miss, they add up to a humorous evening.

Most of the plays deal with growing up or growing older and the changes that go along with that.  When Greevy, Incrocci and Jensen try something novel and inventive, they are wonderful.  The opening and closing plays, 'Impulsitive' and '28 Years Later,' are excellent examples.  In the first, a woman gives in to an impulse, in this case, biting a friend on the cheek during dinner.  What follows is a series of increasingly more inappropriate actions as the other diners get involved.  It's a clever and funny little play about being an adult and acting appropriately, and why there needs to be some middle ground.  ‘28 Years Later,’ a clever play on the movie 28 Days Later, features one of the best uses of zombies as metaphors that I've seen.  This play is about growing old and the lengths some people go to avoid it is a riot.

Of the middle plays, 'The Other Side' was the most interesting.  Dealing with the fear of a huge change, in this case birth, the play has the feel of Waiting for Godot, though only one of the characters wants to wait.  It's a cute and clever piece of theatre.

The two remaining plays are amusing, but unlike 'Impulsitive' and '28 Years Later,' they incorporate stories or concepts that have been used by other playwrights and television writers to the point where they seem a little stale.  The most obvious example of this is 'Friendsters,' in which the end of a friendship between two women is couched in terms of a breakup of two lovers.  While hearing the old clichés, like "It's not you, it's me," "We're just growing in different directions," or "I'm just not that into you," in terms of a friendship is amusing, it's been done before.  Similarly, 'Moving Day,' a play about a woman who isn't ready to move in with her boyfriend, is amusing, but familiar.  Unlike 'Friendsters' however, it manages to surprise the audience a little at the end, when the characters find that their hand has been forced.

As I mentioned before, there is a little extra in this show.  To cover the scene changes, there are entr'actes.  These feature a pissed-off waitress, zombies (some of them scary, some of them dancing to the Scissor Sisters) and a guitar player singing a song about the kind of man that turns her on . . . one who does housework.  The entr'actes are fun, silly and just perfect for this production.

The 13 member cast does a good job.  Standouts include Nicole Greevy as Krista, the cheek biter in 'Impulsitive,' and as Nina in '28 Years Later,' Christian Pedersen, also of 'Impulsitive,' Kirk McGee in 'The Other Side' (he's also very amusing in the entr'actes), and Melanie Wehrmacher as a Waitress in 'Friendsters' (though more so for her appearance in the entr'acte).

Five by Three is a fun and amusing show.  While it has its flaws, it will leave you laughing, which, in an evening of short comedies, is a really good thing.

The cast also features Mike Caban, William Franke*, Deborah Green*, Nicole Greevy*, Armistead Johnson*,  Sarah Malkin*, Ninon Rogers*, Alison Saltz, Andi Teran, and Dan Truman*.

(* - denotes member, Actor’s Equity)  


Box Score:


Writing: 1

Directing: 1

Acting: 2

Sets: 1

Costumes: 1

Lighting/Sound: 1


Copyright 2007 Byrne Harrison


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