ComedyNew York

Quiet Enjoyment — Playroom Theatre, New York City

Writer: Richard Curtis

Director: Marcus Gualberto

Reviewer: Alithea Howes

Reading the synopsis of Quiet Enjoyment, one wonders how something so dry as a co-op closing could be the subject of an entertaining play. After seeing this production of Quiet Enjoyment, the mystery remains.

With awkward pacing and unlikeable characters, Quiet Enjoyment is only somewhat less boring than an actual co-op closing, and considerably more grating.

The main(?) character, Tudda (Samantha Marcado), is an uptight junior manager shepherding a misfit group of tropes through the sale of a five million dollar co-op from midlife-crisis-man, Peter Chasen (Mark A Daly), to his long suffering ex-wife Juliana (Jamie Lee Kearns).

This somehow takes all day, mostly due to the interventions of Peter’s embarrassing-hippy-girlfriend Karma (Megan Simard), and everyone fighting over a chandelier that they had sex with or on or under, it’s never really made clear. The other complication is that midlife-crisis-man has hidden his assets in the Caymans and has failed to liquidate them in time. Talk about relatable!

Luckily his creepy lawyer BImsky(Mario Claudio) is there to sleeze on everyone. So there’s that.

Is this a bad play? Maybe. It’s hard to tell through the acting, which has the under-rehearsed air of a cold reading or a high school play. Perhaps with time, this cast could pick up their dialogue to the rapid fire comedy it’s written to be. One would hope that they also bring out the absurdity of this play. Any comedy with this much slapstick and a running gag about chandelier sex shouldn’t really be played for realism.

Near the end, there was a paperwork signing dance that was very enjoyable. And Paula Gates’ portrayal of the deus ex real-estate-broker Martha Pusey was surprisingly charming. Costume and scenic coordinators (Samantha Mercado Tudda and Robert Maisonett, respectively) did a decent job with what appeared to be a very small budget. On the whole, though, this feels more like a workshop than a full production. Fans of Love Actually and Mr. Bean should know that this show’s playwright is notthatRichard Curtis.

Runs until 3 November 2019 | Photo Credit: Mozinya Productions

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