BOTTOM LINE: A solid play about straight guys that both genders should find relatable and entertaining. See it now, it closes May 18th.
The Four of Us is the story of Ben (Gideon Banner) and Dave (Michael Esper); the former is a novelist and the later is a playwright. Both are in their mid-20's and trying to get their professional lives in order. Friends from summer camp, they've gone through their formative years together, always there for one another to lean on. But the nature of things is disrupted when Ben gets a super-lucrative book deal. Dave has to deal with his innate jealousy of Ben's success and their subsequent drifting apart as their careers advance.
Like many other productions at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Four of Us is a new work by an emerging playwright, written about realistic people set in the current time. The dialogue is reflective of two friends who are both expressive and self-aware; it's witty, snarky and touching. And most importantly, it feels real.
The storytelling techniques in The Four of Us are utilized successfully, especially for a story that's essentially about storytelling. Playwright Itamar Moses uses non-linear narration, and as the scenes progress, the audience learns more about why these guys are who they are, and how their friendship propelled them to the current state. Esper and Banner are perfectly cast as two well-intentioned guys, trying to navigate through the early part of adulthood; their professional lives are about written expression and they've got a lot to say.
The Four of Us has been extended until May 18th...check it out while you still can. It's the kind of story with that could certainly live as a movie, but is much more compelling told on stage. It's thought-provoking in all the right ways, and an overall enjoyable experience.
(The Four of Us plays at NY City Center's Stage II, but only for a little while longer. It plays Tues. through Sat. at 7:30pm and Wed., Sat. and Sun. at 2:30. Tickets are normally $50, but use these discount codes to get tickets for $30...visit nycitycenter.org and use code 3792, or call 212.581.1212 and use code 4TAF. The show runs 1.5 hours without an intermission. Check out mtc-nyc.org for more info.)