Friday, April 1, 2011

You have GOT to see this play!

by Brittany Geragotelis

I trudged out into the rainy night to go see the opening of a new off-off-Broadway play in NYC yesterday evening. And even though it was blistery outside, inside the studio where The Timing of a Day was showing, things were heating up. Now, being that most of my boyfriends' friends are actors and the circle he runs in all seem to come back to entertainment, I've been dragged to a LOT of off-Broadway productions. I'm not going to say any of them were horrible, but none of them really caught my attention—until last night.

The Timing of a Day is a play written by Owen Panettieri and directed by Joey Brenneman. The cast is a small one, comprised of one girl and three guys, all playing mid-20s young people living in NYC. In the show, the audience follows the lives of three roommates, Doug (played by Nik Kourtis), Paige (played by R. Elizabeth Woodard) and Josh (played by Miguel Govea) who are all sharing a tiny apartment in Harlem. After a tragic series of events, two of the characters are left to question their own relationships with each other as well as that with their former roommate. As the actors take us back in time to show us how their lives became so entangled, we start to realize where and how they each fell in love, got off track and began to ignore the things that were right in front of them.

Though it sounds a bit serious, and at times it does deal with serious situations, the play itself was very enjoyable and entertaining. The writing was clever and real, and the situations the playwright put the characters in were totally believable. Nik Kourits' portrayal of a flamboyantly gay guy who's just beginning to admit to everyone around him just exactly who he is, was genius, endearing and a joy to watch. From his mannerisms to the inflection in his voice and wicked dance moves, you can't help but fall in love with him.

R. Elizabeth Woodard showcases a compelling yet realistic character, often saying and acting the way I could see myself reacting if put in the same situations. Though tiny in stature, Elizabeth's presence is huge and she has no problem letting her emotions rip through the venue. Miguel Govea did a good job playing a guy just wanting to find love; everyone can identify with being in love with someone who has no clue how they feel. And watching him work through certain scenes was just heartbreaking (in a good way). And though Matty (played by Justin Anselmi) weaves in and out of the main characters' lives briefly, the actor manages to leave a lasting impression when he's through.

I really loved the way they used the stage and created a space where the audience can see the whole apartment. Also, the way the actors moved around the room, picking stuff up and moving furniture to give the viewer a sense that we were changing time, too was very effective. It was done in a seamless way that wasn't distracting and actually added to the feeling of the show.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with The Timing of a Day and would wholeheartedly suggest you go see it if you're in NYC the next few weeks. Tickets are only $18 which is a total steal for the performance that you get. Lots of thanks to assistant director David "Cougar" Williams for putting this show on my radar—I can't think of a better way to spend a night out!