This evening of four one-act plays was part of The Soho Triptych, 11 one-act plays presented over three evenings. On a sweltering Wednesday evening in July, every seat in the 75-seat theatre was taken. Unfortunately, once the noisy air-conditioning was switched off and ineffective ceiling fans took over, this audience had to wait 20 minutes for the plays to begin - unfortunate and unprofessional.
Despite that unfortunate beginning, the evening was reasonably rewarding.
Counting on my Fingers, by Frank John Verderame, directed by Constance George, takes place in a doctor's waiting room, where a young woman is sitting. A young man arrives and begins to chat with her. After lengthy exposition is over, we learn that we are in the future, when a person's death-date can be accurately specified. The woman's young daughter is inside getting her death date. The young man announces that his date is still uncertain, so he volunteers to look after the daughter when the mother dies. Lacking any passion, poetry, or real conflict, the little piece was competently directed by Ms. George; Marie Trusits and Mario Brassard acted it quite well.
Writing: 1; Directing 1; Acting: 1
Hello I Love You, directed by the author, Mike Meyers, takes place at a wedding reception, where the bride runs into a former boyfriend in an anteroom, and they talk about the past and whether she should have married him. Alas, it was hard to know what was happening since much of the dialogue could not be heard at the back of the theatre (whatever happened to "project, project?"). The hyper man was also such an annoying nerd, it was surprising that the bride gave him a second look. As she left to rejoin the groom, he said something about keeping in touch through phone sex. Enough said?
Writing: 1; Directing 0; Acting 0
Don't Pick Up, by Susannah Nolan, directed by Ami Rothschild, is set in a Chelsea children's bookshop where Louisa (Karen Case Cook), a spinsterish, suited lady, is searching for a book. After "lifting" a book and putting in her bag, she talks with the lonely, sympathetic owner, Chris (James DiSalvatore), who wants to date her. Eventually, she confesses to her thievery, agrees to get help, and asks to come back to see him when she's well. "Yes", he replies, "but don't bring your bag!" Nice work all around here. Engaging dialogue, often funny ("I never liked Mole in The Wind in the Willows; he reminded me too much of my Uncle Mort"), assured direction, and well-acted characters: a model one-act play.
Writing: 2; Directing 2; Acting: 2
In Cleaned and Burned, by Victoria Janis, directed by Kim Ferraro, a very dysfunctional family is cleaning up their house after a fire. The whole family all blame each other for their unhappy pasts - particularly the father, who may have set the fire in a drunken rage. The play is well-written, and Ms. Janis has a nice ear for dialogue. The play starts promisingly with two fine monologues (well-acted by David Skinner and Monica Janis as the two siblings), but the other actors' uncertainty in their roles resulted in an unevenness in the performances. (Philip Levy, Pamela Paine, and Joanna Bayless.)
All shows had appropriate costumes (Shana Kay Burns), lights and sets: Shana McKay Burns and Deborah R. Rosen, respectively.
Writing: 1; Directing 1; Acting: 1
Box Scores for all plays: Set 1, Costumes 1, Lighting/Sound 1
Return to Volume Five, Number Two Index
Return to Volume Five Index
Return to Home Page
Copyright 1998 Dudley Stone