Another Evening of Awkward Romance
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nytheatre.com review by Pamela Butler
August 15, 2013
A scene from Another Evening of Awkward Romance
Wendy Herlich has written a series of delightfully funny and quirky romantic scenarios she performs with the very talented Aaron Phillips. Each vignette illuminates the trials and tribulations of love and desire, unrequited and otherwise. She mixes live stage action with short videos that serve as follow ups to first encounters.
Here are some of the most untypical and fringe relationships you would never think of, but each shows off classic human behavior. A couple of copy writers share a work space and laugh over the absurdities of typos and bad print layouts. All is fine until one finds out the other is dating someone else in another department. Stony silences and hostility ensue until it comes out that they both have always had a crush on the other, but were too shy to do anything about it. With some awkwardness they decide to date. The video that follows shows how two red pencil loving people can have a good time at a wedding.
In another and most memorable scene, two choir members show up for rehearsal in a church, and no one else in the choir is there. In the course of their banter we get to hear them sing, and boy can they sing! What a treat. However there is a battle for vocal supremacy which suddenly turns into a passionate embrace that floors them. We discover in the video that follows just what happened to the choir.
I love costumes, and while there is no credit given to a costumer, I’ll assume it is Ms. Herlich who chooses to come on stage dressed to the nines in a sleek and stunning 1940’s outfit that steals the show for me. She greets her boyfriend, in an old tee shirt and jeans, with the perfect diction and delivery of a great iconic actress from the period. It seems she has relapsed into an illness they both share; a need to leave the present world and literally inhabit the world of old movies. Her boyfriend seems to have kicked the habit, but with his sobriety they cannot speak the same language. They finally resolve their dilemma but you’ll have to see the show to find out how.
Director Ruthie Levy does a nice job staging the action and keeping things moving and David Castaneda lights the various love scenes to their best advantage. I haven’t given away all the awkward romances explored here and it would be worth your while to check them out. Lots of laugh out loud and endearing moments that will charm and no doubt resonate with almost any audience.