Temporarily there

Temporarily Yours

By Kevin Connell
Directed by David Scott
Distilled Spirits Theatre
Flatiron Playhouse
119 West 23rd Street (330-1478)
Equity showcase (closes August 14)
Review by Andrès J. Wrath

Temporarily Yours is about living with AIDS, friendship, and suicide. It has the trappings of conventional ideas but is laced with an unconventional framework. What transpired, however, seemed underdeveloped and not fully at ease with its own potential.

Pasha (Lynn Marie Macy) is a woman about to commit suicide. In flashback after flashback we see her in scenes with her friend Tom (Mr. Connell), a gay man living life on the edge. Pasha in contrast is repressed and withdrawn, where Tom is all-encompassing and promiscuous. It becomes apparent that neither can commit to anyone but each other. After several attempts to get Pasha out of her shell, Tom succeeds only in becoming insanely jealous and kills himself. The rest of the play asks the dramatic question, should Pasha end her life as well?

What is most compelling about Mr. Connell's dramatic setup is never fully realized - Pasha wants to be Tom and Tom wants to be Pasha. Instead Tom and Pasha have monologues galore about the past and what they are feeling. Furthermore, all the dramatic action takes place offstage: the suicide, the death of Tom's friend from AIDS, Pasha's date. It seems what Mr. Connell relies on is his bold language, which adds a poetry to the story, but the action seems a little lost.

However, Mr. Connell as Tom was dynamic and assured in his acting talents. He was captivating, and it was hard to keep your eyes off him. He was like a subdued Alan Cummings, and he played his subtext with the best of them. Ms. Macy as Pasha would have been better served if she had had a stronger action through the play. She had moments of true behavior, but her character didn't seem to want much. Ms. Macy tried hard to get at the core of the passive Pasha, and the result came off a little pushed. She, however, possessed a strong stage presence and had a commanding range in some of the less forced moments. What was most effective was the scene where Pasha takes pills and forms a circle of them around her. It's a moment of sheer theatrical power not told by words. More moments like this would have benefited the play.

The production was beautiful. Director David Scott moved the scenes and his actors about the stage effortlessly. The lighting, by Doug Filomena, was glowing, and sets and costumes, designed by Production Elves, Inc., were simple and fun.

Box Score:

Writing: 1
Directing: 2
Acting: 1
Set: 2
Costumes: 2
Lighting/Sound: 2

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