What I love most about Manhattan Repertory Theatre is their commitment to nurturing new works by emerging playwrights. In 2011, I was introduced to Manhattan Repertory Theatre when I attended Summer Fest. Now, two years later, I have been reunited with them as I attended their evening of one acts in their Winter One-Act Play Competition Series 2. I was there to see John Doble's A Serious Person, directed by Olivia Harris and starring Loralee Tyson and Alex Engquist.
John's show was definitely my favorite act of the evening. With its smart, humorous, and topical writing, John has perfectly captured a first date between two 20-somethings, an insurance salesman and a beautiful airline ticketing agent, who strike up a comically charged conversation and an unlikely flirtation. While I haven't been on a date with a female in quite a number of years, the universal theme of a first date and the topics that arose, were all too familiar. I had been in both character's shoes and it was great to laugh along as the many hilarious moments came about in A Serious Person. I loved watching the little neuroses pop out from each character and the way they responded to each other's comments. Alex and Loralee had great chemistry and played off of each other really well. Olivia really showed all that can happen on a first date with her stellar directing. Whether John's show wins the competition or not (which I hope it does), I am looking forward to what John Doble has to offer next.
Performed at Manhattan Repertory Theatre (303 West 42nd Street, 6th floor), A Serious Person runs through Sunday, January 12, unless it moves into the next round of the competition (and here's hoping it does).
All tickets are $20. To reserve seats email: firstname.lastname@example.org.