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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review- A Perfect Couple (WET)

The Fab Marquee review by David Stallings.

A Perfect Couple, by Brooke Berman, is having its world premier at the beautiful DR2 Theater on Union Square. WET (Women’s Expressive Theater) continues their tradition of tight, well-worked productions presented by female writers and directors with this crisp evening. Berman’s anthropological look at what happens when you finally have everything you ever wanted in a relationship and are still unhappy is the event that brings a fantastic team of artists together.

A Perfect Couple 1
James Waterson as Issac & Annie McNamara as Emma

Amy (Dana Eskelson) and Isaac (James Waterson) have everything at forty that Amy ever wanted. After fifteen years of dating, Amy has finally convinced Isaac that he wants it too. They are a happy couple that lives in the country—in a home inherited from Isaac’s eccentric stepmother—and gladly gives advice on how the people around them need to fix their lives to be as perfect as they are. Perfection does come at a cost, the fresh-faced forty year olds have learned to compromise on many things in order to get on Amy’s “baby track”, but on the surface they seem like any functional couple at that stage. Perhaps that is what is so frightening. A weekend in their country home with the New York single friend, Emma (Annie McNamara), and the twenty-three year old stoner next door, Josh (Elan Moss-Barach), leaves Amy wondering if these lost souls might have more going for them in the long run. Having everything together soon proves that Amy is left with nothing for herself. Amy’s world seems to be shattered when she finds the diary of Isaac’s deceased stepmother, which claims that Isaac always truly loved Emma (although he never knew it). This revelation—unsubstantiated by any evidence—destroys the relationship Amy has with both Isaac and Emma. The revelation of course is that Amy was always looking for an out. She had grown tired of always looking for the right track, taking care of friendships she may have outgrown, and living up to standards that ultimately are unfulfilling.

A Perfect Couple 2
Dana Eskelson as Amy & Annie McNamara as Emma

WET’s production of A Perfect Couple is excellent. The cast is formidable, headed by the lovely Dana Ekelson as Amy. Her voice is perfectly matched with the role, finding easily the humor and pathos of her character. James Waterson is lovely as the handsome Isaac, who appears to have everything a woman would want in a partner, yet somehow falls short. A real standout is the whimsical Annie McNamara as Emma. Ms. McNamara is captivating on the stage, with many quirks and witty remarks, yet always maintaining a grounded sensibility. She is easy to watch with a wonderful presence. Elan Moss-Barach is an audience favorite as the comic relief of the evening in the role of Josh. Although his presentation of the stoner garnered many laughs, it came a little too easy and at the loss of some more subtle nuances that I think lurked in the text.

The immaculate set by Neil Patel is stunning. The blue image of a perfect home serves as the backdrop that works perfectly for the many short scenes taking place both inside and out. Matched marvelously by Matthew Richards’ lights, the technical aspects of the show are beautifully effective. Maria Mileaf’s direction is solid and clean. There is not a misstep in her staging and in the many transitions.

A Perfect Couple 3
Annie McNamara as Emma & Dana Eskelson as Amy

A clean and crisp evening for a sophisticated mind interested in the study of a woman forced to breaking by a seemingly meaningless event, a Perfect Couple is sure to please any avid theatergoer.
WET presents
Brooke Berman’s
A Perfect Couple
June 9th-July 12, 2008 (Opening Night June 19th); Mon-Sat @8pm
DR2 Theatre

Tickets range from $25 - $35, available at 212-239-6200 or

DR2 Theatre | 103 East 15th Street | Manhattan.

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