Pin It
Favorite

PLAY REVIEW — Sirens 

click to enlarge Love goes wild on the high seas in Sirens. - NICHOLAS GRAUERT
  • Nicholas Grauert
  • Love goes wild on the high seas in Sirens.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it,” wrote Oscar Wilde. In Sirens, Deborah Zoe Laufer’s play about midlife crises now at Interplayers, Wilde’s tongue-in-cheek advice is the unspoken mantra. Middle-aged songwriter Sam drools over young girls in public and flirts with them on Facebook, all ostensibly an attempt to recapture the magic that led to his catchy, oft-covered hit “Rose Adelle.” He’s been married to that song’s muse for a quarter-century, and channeling the ecstasy of young love has proven more elusive as the years wear on.

There’s little wonder why. Rose’s behavior toward Sam is a mix of coddling and condescension. She’s neck-deep in passive-aggressive self-pity, lamenting their empty nest, simmering over his pitiful infidelities. When Sam leaps into the Mediterranean in rapturous pursuit of a siren’s song, he abandons Rose to finish their silver anniversary cruise alone. She mourns for all of a week before calling old flame Richard Miller. Meanwhile, Sam is stranded on some uncharted island, delirious, haggling with a petulant siren for his life.

This is a comedy, by the way; but between the islands of amusing one-liners are vast wine-dark seas of pacing, whining, reminiscing, and the furious, fruitless arguments of the hopelessly self-involved. There’s considerable empty space on the set, which shrinks and isolates the actors.

Tamara Schupman’s one-two comedic punch gets extra mileage out of Rose’s lines, but she’s settled on a bizarre accent (robot Jewish grandmother?). As an otherwise convincing siren, Dawn Wolski opts for a fickle cross between Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie and Valley girl. Nick Witham is a brief but uproarious second-act highlight as the sleazy Miller; Roger Welch appears to play Sam exactly as Laufer intended, but at times that doesn’t seem to be enough.

— E.J. IANNELLI

Sirens • Through April 20: Wed-Sat at 7:30 pm; Sun at 2 pm • $28 ($20 senior/military, $12 student) • Interplayers • 174 S. Howard St. • 455-7529 • interplayerstheatre.org

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • TV | <i>BLACK-ISH</i>
  • TV | BLACK-ISH

    Exploring the knotty complications of race through comedy
    • Oct 15, 2014
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    Music tips, a handy app for readers and a better Utopia
    • Oct 15, 2014
  • Behind the Blue
  • Behind the Blue

    Becoming a part of the Blue Man Group takes more than face paint and a spooky stare
    • Oct 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Window Dressing: Violet is an Anagram of Love It

Window Dressing: Violet is an Anagram of Love It @ Music City Building

Through Oct. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by E.J. Iannelli

  • Strange Bedfellows
  • Strange Bedfellows

    Completing his newest novel The Hour of Lead was a Herculean effort for Bruce Holbert
    • Oct 15, 2014
  • An Accidental Marathon
  • An Accidental Marathon

    Starting with Stage Left, three local theaters are staging five different plays by Neil LaBute
    • Oct 8, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation