brief review is from
MISSING MARISA and KISSING CHRISTINE
Two short plays
Written and Directed by JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY
354 W. 45th Street (between 8th & 9th Aves.)
Performances begin October 2, 1996.
Opening night is October 17.
Set Design BRAD STOKES
Costume Design LAURA CUNNINGHAM
Lighting Design BRIAN NASON
Original Music and Sound Design
DAVID VAN TIEGHEM
MARISSA Cast (in order of appearance)
Eli DANIEL ORESEKES
Terry JAKE WEBER
CHRISTINE Cast (in order of appearance)
Christine LAURA HUGHES
Larry JAKE WEBER
Server REIKO AYLESWORTH
is comprised of two talky, one-act plays. While each aims to
work through aspects of the human condition, neither arrives
at a resolution, which seems to be the author's intention. Both
plays are well written, but so top-heavy with dialogue that
some of it is muffled and lost. In MISSING MARISSA two men banter
about Marissa, whom both have loved and lost, as they engage
in a surreal conversation about life. The goal of the piece
seems to be to make a profound statement, but it falls short.
Taken on its own terms, it has potential. The exchange between
these two characters is not like a conversation that average
people would engage in, and is not meant to be. It is philosophical,
and often metaphorical. It raises some interesting points, but
ultimately falls flat.
CHRISTINE is the better of the two plays. Both the acting and
the writing are superior. In this play, the main characters,
Christine (Laura Hughes) and Larry (Jake Weber), make an intimate
connection while on a first date at a Thai restaurant. Their
conversation is more believable, and far more accessible to
the audience. They are battered souls who have come to believe
that nothing matters to them anymore. They each have moments
of self-realization as they speak to one another. By the end,
there is a quality of warmth and tenderness between them.
is a different kind of theater experience. It is two plays without
action, to speak of. It is like watching two sessions of psychoanalysis.
John Patrick Shanley presents characters in the midst of self-examination,
people in transition. The "action" of each piece lies in that
small moment of clarity that enables the character to comprehend
a small slice of life. While the two plays are comedies, they
definitely require that the audience be in an introspective
mood. For those who never tire of meditations on the angst of
life, MISSING/KISSING may have something to say.
- Kessa De Santis -