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April  22

No Nicks, No Cuts


Anyone who looks at the paucity of plays on Broadway and wonders where the playwrights have gone need look no farther than "Close Shave" at Cafe Theatre, an evening of eight comic short plays currently on at the upstairs room at Tierney's.

You go in with relatively low expectations (Plays in a bar? How good could this be?), but you come away with a whole new appreciation of the power of words and gestures to entertain, and of the quality of the drama program at Montclair State, where many of the principals are students or recent graduates.

The plays are well-observed and well-directed. The casts are uniformly excellent, but some standouts are worth mentioning here.

Jon Barker is hilarious in two different roles: as a sciurophobic layabout called on to help a stranger (played by the funny and adorable Liz Gerecitano) transport a box full of squirrels in Ben Clawson's Quarrels; and in the title role of Marc Castle's Mr. Company, where he is a programmable robot companion being fought over by two women. Barker shows a facility for accents, and, despite spending the whole play seated on the bar, a knack for physical comedy.

Marly Bewighouse is funny as the lovesick customer in Mr. Company, funny and a little spooky as a Reader's Digest-spouting wife driven to extremes to stop her husband's smoking in Greg Scott Mihalik's For Better.

Brian Parks has a nice turn as a ballplayer reluctantly performing post-season service in Sid Frank's Suicide Squeeze.

Costuming and props are minimal. There are no sets. (Suicide Squeeze takes place mostly on a building ledge, represented by a long table.) But we don't miss them.

-- Warren Levinson

April 22, 2006 in Our Favorite Diversions | Permalink


I felt the same way when I first saw the original 12 Miles West Company perform upstairs at Tierney's.

I think some of these folks were players than as well. Paul and Gia are both recent MSU graduates, I think (and hope) they have long careers ahead of them, hopefully, entertaining me all along the way.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Apr 22, 2006 2:33:53 PM

This sounds like fun. I don't know that I'll be able to work it into my schedule, but details on events like this are one of the things that make B-net a great website.

Posted by: crank | Apr 22, 2006 2:51:34 PM

The person who said they wanted my extra two tickets for tonight hasn't sent me her name so as of now they are up for grabs again. Let me know.

Posted by: Max | Apr 22, 2006 4:53:14 PM

Max! Me, me! I decided I want to go....email me!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 22, 2006 5:28:54 PM

For got say "THANKS!"

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 22, 2006 5:29:56 PM

Max: your email address does not appear to be working.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 22, 2006 5:35:03 PM

I just emailed you MM

Posted by: Max | Apr 22, 2006 5:44:31 PM

Got it...thanks, Max! There's a drink in it for you!-M

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 22, 2006 5:51:27 PM

My BF & I just got back from this and we had a great time! Really enjoyed some of the skits, especially those in Act II. We also ran into a friend of mine who I haven't seen in awhile and it turns out her dad wrote one of the skits! He was there with her mom and her whole family...what a treat to see everyone again!

And, I also got to meet Max and her hubby...nice folks and thanks again for the tix!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 22, 2006 9:53:59 PM

This sounds like a fun thing to check out. We had already commited to go see Lunatic Fringe at 12 Miles tonight and darn it all....I haven't figured out how to be in 2 places at 1 time yet!

But LF was funny and we had a great time - glad you all did as well.

We'll have to catch the next round at Tierney's

Posted by: Anne Prince | Apr 22, 2006 10:57:44 PM

Fun time, go see for yourself!

Nice to meet you MM!

Posted by: Max | Apr 23, 2006 7:42:45 AM

Didn't see the play but the Guinness and fish and chips downstairs were great, all made better by the lack of smoke.

Posted by: State Street Pete | Apr 24, 2006 11:00:48 AM

Yes, I agree, the non-smoking Tierney's was a pleasure, although ironically, a couple of actors in the show had smoking parts!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 24, 2006 11:07:51 AM

"although ironically, a couple of actors in the show had smoking parts!"

I wondered about that - would they have been busted under the new law if an official had been there?

Personally I could have done without the smoke.

Posted by: Max | Apr 24, 2006 12:08:19 PM

That's a good question, Max. Does the new law include theatrical performances where smoking is involved? Calling all lawyers!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 24, 2006 12:12:32 PM

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