BOTTOM LINE: A great play with first rate performances that examines relationships in a fresh and exciting way which should not be missed.
Amy and Emma have been friends since college. Amy starts dating Isaac when they‘re in their mid-twenties. Amy, Isaac and Emma become lifelong friends. The three gather together as Amy and Isaac finally plan their wedding. Their happy existence is rocked when Amy discovers a diary from Isaac’s recently deceased stepmother, in which she says that she believes her step son is not in fact in love with Amy, but is meant to be with Emma. This is the seemingly simple setting for Brooke Berman’s new play, A Perfect Couple, now playing at the DR2 Theatre. What happens next is a refreshing look at what it means to be in a relationship as you approach middle age. Do you settle for a life that is easy because that is what you have always wanted, or are you happy and brave enough to be alone until you find that person that you know is out there for you?
Ms. Berman, who recently penned the critically acclaimed Hunting and Gathering at Primary Stages, creates characters that are so rich and complex that you find a small part of yourself in each of them. She has the courage to address issues that sometimes make people uncomfortable in an honest manner. The entire cast give wonderful performances. Annie McNamara (Emma) creates a woman who is comfortable with her choice to be alone as she approaches forty and doesn’t view this as the problem that everyone around her seems to think it is. One of the highlights of the evening comes during a heart-felt scene between Dana Eskelson (Amy) and Elan Moss-Bacharach (Josh), who plays the recent college graduate who is helping James Waterston (Isaac) clean out the attic. He presents a different view on what it means to be in relationship that’s worthy of a bestselling self-help book. It’s so simple in it’s philosophy, but ultimately so true to life. Trust me, it’s kind of brilliant.
Bottom line, this is a really, really good play. At only an hour and half, the time flies by. I can’t say anything more about it because I don’t want to ruin the story, but you will like it. You will see a part of your self in every one of these characters and maybe examine why you made the choices you did in life or why you are making the choices you’re making right now. It examines what happens to us from the time we are in our mid-twenties and are full of hope and a little bit of fear as we approach forty and filled mostly with fear and only a little bit of hope. So, if you're twenty, forty, or have ever been either of those ages, I think you will find something to identify with in the finely crafted play. I hope that Ms. Berman continues to have success in the New York theatre scene because this is the kind of play that makes Off-Broadway theatre exciting. It challenges and entertains an audience.
And for a one-two punch of kick ass theatre see A Perfect Couple at 8pm on a Friday or Saturday and then catch the late show of Fuerzabruta right next door. You’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend your evening.
(A Perfect Couple plays at the DR2, 103 East 15th Street, but only through July 19th. Shows are Monday through Saturday at 8pm; final performance on July 19th is at 6pm. Tickets are $25-$45; student rush tickets available, ask box office for more info. For tickets call 212.239.6200. Visit www.wetweb.org.)