Review by: Peter Foldy
4PLAY by Graham Brown examines the personal entanglements of three couples – one heterosexual, one gay and one lesbian. Told in something of a sitcom style, the show takes place among the audience who upon entering the venue find themselves in a nightclub setting with cocktail tables and a fully stocked bar.
Though the show opens with a jazzy piano rendition of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things,” (well sung by Marian Frizelle), 4Play is anything but. It’s a meta-theatrical experience, a play within a play, and the actors let you know immediately that they are breaking down the fourth wall.
4Play mixes life with art and throws in science and sports – not to mention infatuation and seduction in the process.
Graham Brown (“the director”) is getting over a breakup and figure this could be the right time to explore his bisexual side. He meets and hooks up with
Cameron J Oro, someone he doesn’t realize is in fact his best friend’s boyfriend. After a clumsy and disappointing encounter, the director decides that he may be straight after all.
Meanwhile Ariana Anderson (“the lesbian”) rents a room to Zoë Dean Simpson (“the roommate”) and the women are soon involved in a steamy tryst. Eve Danzeisen is their 3rd roommate and she, it turns out, is the director’s love interest.
The aforementioned boyfriend, (Cameron J Oro), and the director’s best friend, Dustyn Gulledge, have their own trials and tribulations. Throw in a fesity relative and a stage manager and what you get is an intimate, funny performance, with conversations that at times feel like that heart to heart, revealing chat you might have with your best friend at 4am.
Sound confusing? It’s really not. 4Play has a compelling story line and likeable characters who have both humor and depth. Mr. Brown’s dialogue flows as smoothly as a bottle of Dom Perignon and the fine cast have a chemistry that feels, spontaneous and authentic. By the time the pieces of the puzzle are put together and the conflicts come to a head at an awkward, ill fated dinner party, you almost want to swap phone numbers with these people so you can catch up in a few weeks to make sure that things have worked out for them. 4Play feels that involving. Don’t miss it!
4Play was written by Graham Brown with Nathan Faudree and Lisa Roth, Directed by Graham Brown and featuring Ariana Anderson, Graham Brown, Bevin Bru, Eve Danzeisen, Zoë Simpson Dean, Marian Frizelle, Dustyn Gulledge, Lara Helena, Kaitlin Large, Zoquera Milburn, Cameron J. Oro, Christi Pedigo, Kirstin Racicot, Kelsey Risher, Robert Walters, Dan Wilson. Presented by trip.
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 22, March 1, March 8, March 15
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 23, March 2, March 9, March 16
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 24, March 3, March 10, March 17
trip. @ The Actors Company
916 A North Formosa Ave
Los Angeles CA 90046
(800) 838-3006 or www.tripnyc.org
• General Admission: $25
Photos by: Kelsey Risher