ROBIN’S SHOW REVIEW & TICKET GIVEAWAY: LONELY, I’M NOT!


 

  At an age when most people are discovering what they want to do with their lives, Porter (Topher Grace: Traffic, Spider-Man 3, In Good Company, “That 70’s Show”) has been married and divorced, earned seven figures as a corporate “ninja” and had a nervous breakdown.  It’s been four years since he’s had a job or a date, and he’s decided to give life another shot, even if that means dealing with a money-grubbing jail bird father and taking a more menial job at a latte cafe.  On top of that, he’s coping with recurring nightmares about the hospice care he  gave his now deceased mother, and experiencing crying spells after sex.  He’s not a whole heck of a lot of fun to be with, but he’s somehow a breath of fresh air to Heather whose failed last relationship left her grateful to know where she stands with someone.  Is that reason enough to pursue a relationship?  She’s told by her roommate that Porter is cute, though she can’t see him, so it’s surely not based on lust.  Is their chemistry related to the fact that these are two individuals groping in the dark?  It would seem.  Are they stronger together?  We don’t know or find out.

  From the playwright (Paul Weitz) who wrote Trust and the director (Trip Cullman) of the critically acclaimed Bachelorette (Second Stage’s Uptown Series), Lonely, I’m Not  follows Porter as he meets an ambitious young businesswoman, Heather (Olivia Thirlby: Juno, Being Flynn, United 93) who is overcoming her own obstacles to emotional and professional success.

The script is slight, but the appealing cast delivers in spades, particularly Grace in his Off- Broadway stage debut.  His deadpan delivery makes the most of lines that in the hands of a less appealing comedic actor would fall totally flat. Would love to see Grace in a show with stronger plot and laughs (though there were some chuckles here).  And, Thirlby as a driven gal with a bad dating record, who despite losing her vision at age 2, is convinced she can effectively compete in a man’s world by working incessantly and letting her intentions be known, delivers a controlled, nuanced and poignant performance.

The play runs 90 minutes without intermission and largely features a string of “capsule” or blip like scenes accented by neon lights proclaiming words like “Breakfast,” “Dad,” “Loud”  and “Woof”.  Director Trip Cullman  keeps things moving, though there isn’t a whole lot happening on stage.   It’s largely an inside job for the characters as they struggle to come to terms with their challenges, disappointment, aspirations (or lack thereof).  Aaron Rhyne’s projections are inventive and eye-catching and add  a welcome touch to an otherwise minimalist set.

The ensemble featuring Mark Blum, Lisa Emery, Christopher Jackson and Maureen Sebastian, capably plays a host of supporting roles.  Emery effectively portrays Heather’s mother, and Porter’s Latvian English-leaning maid.  Props go to Sebastian for taking on the varied roles of Heather’s assistant, lesbian roommate and Porter’s Ex.  She is cute, sexy, insecure, and adds some comic levity at awkward moments.

Here’s hoping that Grace goes on to further stage success, and if you want the opportunity to say “I saw him when….,” check out LONELY, I’M NOT.
 

Playing through June 3rd, the performance schedule is:

 Tuesdays 7pm | Wednesdays 2pm Wednesdays 8pm |

Thursdays 8pm| Fridays 8pm| Saturdays 2pm & 8pm

Three Ways to Buy:  ONLINE:  Visit www.2ST.comPHONE: Call 212.246.4422;  IN PERSON: Visit the 2econd Stage Theatre box office- 305 West 43rd Street

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.2ST.com

 
 TICKET GIVEAWAY: MotherhoodLater.com is giving away two pairs of tickets to see the show on select dates in May.  If you would like to enter, please send an email to Robin@motherhoodlater.com, and indicate why you’d like to see the show.  Put LONELY, I’M NOT BLOG GIVEAWAY in the Subject Line.  If you won, you’ll be notified via email.