Reviewed by David Walters
Actually, We’re F**cked was written by Matt Williams. The idea for the play came about as he listened to his millennial children and their friends and the issues they see themselves facing and dealing with, a physical world that seems to be on the brink of destruction filled with hate, lies and deceit.
Molly (played with great comic timing by Keren Lugo) and Rachel (Mairin Lee) were friends from college, “sisters,” and have kept in close contact as they begin to touch their 30’s. Each week they get together at each other’s apartment, with their respective spouses Nick (Ben Rappaport) and Frank (Gabriel Sloyer), to talk about their life journeys, the crashing and burning world they see around them and how they are making their way through it. They feel the pressures of getting older (career, children, life goals) and continually challenge each other’s viewpoints.
This week the focus is on how to best raise a child and which religion, if any, to raise them in and the inherent problems of each. Or on the other hand, to even have a child at all considering the state of the world and the responsibility and loss of self that would incur.
But as we know, life happens while you’re busy making plans and ends up dragging the two couples along with it. Through the course of a year, which is the play, personal truths come out, lack of respect and tolerance for each other and their individual choices clash to disrupt their worlds (to go into any more detail would spoil the plot twists).
The set design, by Robin Vest, was spot-on portraying who the characters were before they even walked out on stage and opened their mouths. The living room of a New York pre-war rehabbed one-bedroom apartment and the kitchen were the main focus. There was a sliding wall between the living room and kitchen that was used very effectively and theatrically that added both intimacy and expansion to the play.
I also want to give a shout-out to the projections of words and pictures, by Brad Peterson, that were used as scene breaks and chapter headings that added depth and color to the production. LOOK IT UP, HUMMINGBIRDS, NIGHT OF MOJITOS, SWEET KISSES, BITCH SLAP all added clarity, anticipation and insight to the action of the play making it the more theatrical.
This is a nice safe play about the strivings and struggles of middle class couples, killer hummingbirds and secrets that will make you laugh, may bring a tear to your eye because of the humanity that we all face and finally, leave you with the notion that love is all we really have to see us through. It’s an easy play that won’t upset or challenge you too deeply, may reinforce your personal prejudices and leave you feeling good as you leave.
Actually, We’re F**ked – Written by Matt Williams; Directed by John Pasquin.
WITH: Mairin Lee (Rachel), Keren Lugo (Molly), Ben Rappaport (Nick), Gabriel Sloyer (Frank).
Set Design by Robin Vest; Costume Design by Theresa Squire; Lighting Design by Paul Miller; Sound Design by M.L. Dogg.
Running time: Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Actually, We’re F**ked at the Cherry Lane Theatre and runs through April 7. Tickets and information: cherrylanetheatre