|Lauren Culpepper and Zosia Mamet in a scene from MCC Theater’s Really Really © Janna Giacoppo|
By Paul Downs Colaizzo
Directed by David Cromer
What’s It Really, Really All About?
College athletes Johnson (Kobi Libh), Cooper (David Hull) and Davis (Matt Lauria) cope with the stress of midterms by hosting the campus party of the year. More reserved, and responsible Johnson doesn’t stay, and is surprised to hear the next morning from Cooper, who listened at the keyhole, that Davis got lucky. Even more surprising is the identity of the woman: Leigh (Zosia Mamet, daughter of playwright David Mamet making her debut in a long-form play), the girlfriend of their other teammate, Jimmy (Evan Jonigkeit) who was away during the party.
Cooper wastes no time making sure that Jimmy finds out. Devastated, he confronts Leigh, who tells a different story. She claims that Davis raped her and that she lost their baby as a result. Leigh’s religious roommate, Grace (Lauren Culpepper), returns from a Future Leaders of America conference to discover the developments and tries to help Leigh, but might have ulterior motives. Also lending unwanted assistance is Leigh’s visiting sister, Haley (Aleque Reid), who reminds her of their abusive past. She takes steps to ensure that Leigh will have a future with Jimmy.
The strength and loyalty of all the relationships are tested as Leigh files a complaint with the college and Davis is suspended. He can’t remember anything about the night in question after the keg was delivered, but his attempts to get Leigh to put together the missing pieces of the puzzling night for him backfire with surprising results.
What are the Highlights?
David Cromer directs. His name in the credits is enough to justify a night at the theater – the man is a genius. A bonus here is a revealing, very contemporary well written play by Paul Downs Colaizzo in his New York playwriting debut. Its depiction of the “me” generation is realistic – frighteningly so – with its raw language and situations that unfortunately are too common among the college-age crowd. Pleasing plot and character-development twists keep the audience engrossed and guessing about who is telling the truth in this he-said, she-said.
Cromer doesn’t get in the way of the material and coaches the ensemble to sobering performances. A nice touch is having Leigh step down into the house and address the audience with her speech to her future fellow future leaders of America. The significance that these rather unpleasant, selfish kids are our next generation of leaders is "really really" chilling.
What are the Lowlights?
Though Grace speaks as though she could be associated with Christianity, her actions don't reflect biblical choices in her lifestyle. That's not to say that Christians don't make poor choices, but let's just say that the stereotype of Christians as being hypocritical or stupid gets played out on stages far more than a depiction of Christians who actually know what they believe and behave accordingly. It's getting old.
Depressing material that's hard to watch, but only because it’s so true.
Really Really is the first play in Colaizzo’s “Want, Give, Get” trilogy. The play, presented by MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St., NYC, has been extended through March 30. Tickets and info: http://www.mcctheater.org/shows/12-13_season/reallyreally/.
Christians might also like to know:
-- Strong language (lots of it)
-- Sexual actions an dialogue
-- God's name taken in vain
-- Derogatory terms used in reference to women