Volume 21, Number 37 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 23 - 29, 2009

Theater

STAY OVER
By Matt Morillo and Maria Micheles
Directed by Matt Morillo
Through Jan. 31
Theater for the New City
155 First Ave.
$15; 212-254-1109
theaterforthenewcity.net

Photo by Jonathan Slaff

In “Stay Over,” Michelle (Lori Faiella, L) and her boyfriend, Mark (Tom Plutik), get entangled with Mark’s other woman, Lilly (JessAnn Smith, C).

Cheat, tell and be merry

By Elena Mancini

“Stay Over” is a romantic comedy centering around a dull couple’s metamorphosis into a two-thirds of a bizarre love triangle. Mark has a roving eye, and Michelle knows it. In a naïve fit of calculated seduction, she decides to give him a free pass to sow his cheating oats. Her reasoning is that once Mark has satisfied his marauding needs, they’ll finally be able to settle down.

Mark is conveniently happy to oblige his girlfriend and proceeds with the arrangement. Michelle, on the other hand, discovers that there are a few hitches to her seemingly perfectly devised plan: her jealousy and Lilly, her seductive younger, free-loving cousin, who has taken up with Mark.

Instead of embracing the motto of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Michelle is determined to squeeze out every gory detail of the affair from her caddish boyfriend and her hedonistic cousin. In the trio’s disingenuous efforts to analyze and restore the relationships to their original states, their conversations only serve to highlight the reckless entanglements they’ve set into motion, reinforcing patterns of insecurity, narcissism and alienation in each of the individual players.

Hearty bits of irony, sitcom-like antics between the characters that seem stereotypical on the surface, but reveal themselves as surprising and unpredictable and a sensual nude dance at the end make “Stay Over” a raucously humorous play and an enjoyable night.




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