MOMS NIGHT OUT: Beyond Therapy: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman
In Beyond Therapy life can be crazy, as can words and scenarios…and maybe too much so. In its first New York revival, Christopher Durang’s farce (one of his early works), we are transported back to the 80s…for me, a welcome and promising trip down memory lane listening to music that had me dancing in my seat. Things changed, however, once the play started.
It opens on a blind date with Prudence (Liv Rooth) and Bruce (Mark Alhadeff) who met through the personal ads, and they struggle to connect, in part because Bruce mentions he’s bi-sexual and lives with a male roommate.
Turns out his therapist, Charlotte, played over the top by a Snoopy-wielding barking Cynthia Darlow, encouraged him to date a woman.
Prudence, desperate to recover from the date, has a therapy session with Stuart (Karl Kenzler) who reveals that they had a fling.
What happens from there doesn’t much matter, because, whether the fault lies with the dated material or the production itself, the zaniness works way too hard to be consistently and genuinely funny vs. kooky, and even the playful dancing of the actors as they change the set and props ( a nice touch at first) grows weary.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christoper Durang’s work, and perhaps that’s why I expected so much more.
Durang is the modern master of the outrageous and absurd (and recipient of the 2013 “Best Play” Tony Award for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike).
Directed by TACT Co-Artistic Director Scott Alan Evans, the creative team is comprised of Tom Cariello (sets), Kim Krumm Sorenson (costumes), Mary Louise Geiger (lights), and Jill BC DuBoff (sound) and Johnny Creenan (properties). Jeff Meyers is Production Stage Manager and Kelly Burns is Assistant Stage Manager.t
Beyond Therapy is playing at Theatre Row’s Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street – between 9th & 10th Avenues).
The show continues thru April 19th.