Harbor Currents 1998
Three eclectic new one-act plays from Harbor Theatre writers ran March 1998 at ALTERED STAGES, 212 W 29 Street, New York City:
- I Stand Naked Before You by Edmund De Santis It’s sex versus love when two men have their relationship put to the test of infidelity. with C.K. Allen, A.J. Vincent * & Marc Geller *
- Salsa Night at The Temple by Stephanie Lehmann Three women face their worst nightmare: a Salsa Night Single’s Mixer at a temple on the Upper West Side. with Joy Besozzi *, Karin Sibrava * & Wendy Walker *
- The Critical Mass of Love by Stuart Warmflash A boy, a girl, her boyfriend…and a scientific theory of love. with Chad Deverman, Abby Royle * & Simon Feil * (not pictured) directed by Marc Geller
Lighting design Stephen Arnold; Stage Manager Norva Bennett.
SPRING CURRENTS 1998
Reviewed by Martin Denton on nytheatre.com
The Harbor Theatre has been around for about five years now, and their annual showcase of new work by their member playwrights is one of the most consistently excellent short play festivals in New York.
This year’s edition of Harbor Currents is no exception, featuring provocative and compelling new writing, presented without frills but with great intelligence and professionalism by a cadre of fine theatre artists. Helming all three of this year’s selections is the company’s Associate Artistic Director, Marc Geller. The plays are a diverse lot, starting with the most emotionally potent, Edmund De Santis’ I Stand Naked Before You. Its three characters step in and out of the narrative to let us see the three sides of a love triangle from all three perspectives. De Santis’ romantic story is anything but typical: Spiro is an HIV-positive man who has quit his job to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. He meets Joe, also positive, and they embark on an affair. But Joe wants more than sex; and Spiro has a lover, Brad, who wants his man back. De Santis examines this complicated set of relationships with compassion and real insight. The piece is beautifully acted by Geller (Brad), C.K. Allen (Joe), and A.J. Vincent (Spiro); it’s one of the most satisfying one-act plays I have come across. Stephanie Lehmann’s Salsa Night at the Temple is about three Jewish women at a dance. Karin Sibrava stars as Suzanne, smart and grounded but not as secure as she’d like to be; she is going through the motions of trying to meet a man and not enjoying it one bit. Wendy Walker and Joy Besozzi play her pals, one single and one married, who try to spur her into action. Lehmann’s dialogue is incisive and clever, and Sibrava is warm, appealing and often very funny, particularly when she (twice) turns down an invitation to dance from an unseen but very short would-be suitor.
The evening concludes with Stuart Warmflash’s The Critical Mass of Love, a quirky, charming love story about a man and woman whose first meeting, at Penn Station, triggers a physical reaction (see title) that makes their getting together irresistible and inevitable. Warmflash’s characters are, as usual, articulate and interesting and unusual, and they’re well-played here by Chad Deverman and Abby Royle (with Simon Feil in a brief cameo as the woman’s soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend). Sometimes sharp and sometimes sweet, this parable about destiny and romance makes a pleasing end to an engaging and entertaining evening.