Sunday On The Rocks
By Coneman Running
By H.G. Welch
The ancient Romans had a term to describe the theme of Coneman Running's latest work, Sunday on the Rocks. In Vino Veritas, in wine there is truth. That is the catalyst of the plot, three roommates who decide to ruminate over a major life change for one of them by getting gloriously smashed on a Sunday morning on cheap scotch. Secrets are learned, guilt is confessed and friendships are strained, all in the space in a single day.
The first three roommates are played with gusto by Whitney Zangarine, Ruth McCleskey, and Autumn Clack. Zangerine is Ellie, a woman facing the reality of becoming pregnant. She serves as the primary catalyst for the play, straddling the line between protagonist and antagonist at times. McCleskey is Gayle, who serves as the peacemaker in the household. She plays Gayle as sympathetic, easily the character with the fewest flaws. Clack is Jen, the proudly promiscuous roommate. She goads her friends into some of the sillier moments, but is also the focus of the play's most dramatic scenes. Katherine Renaldi is a late addition, playing the much maligned roommate Jessica, who appears in the second act. She turns out not to be the monster the others make her out to be,
The acting is solid, aside from a single scene when two of the cast get caught up in a joke, leading McCleskey push them back on track. Zangerine drives the play, being the character with the most forceful personality, if not more than a bit mercurial. McCleskey is more timid in her role, which was a pleasant surprise from her normal more acerbic roles in the past. Clack is the least apologetic among the three roommates, never questioning her actions. Rinaldi adds a depth to Jessica that isn't hinted at in her description by the rest of the cast. Instead of a total puritanical monster, she gets along with every character save Ellie, and is rather understanding despite the others distaste for her.
The writing in the play does lag a bit, there is an obvious plot hole in the fifth scene. Perhaps it was the alcohol talking, but many of the characters go from laughing and joking to screaming and cursing and back again in a single scene. It's not enough to remove suspension of disbelief, but it does make you scratch your head afterwards on the large amounts of mood whiplash.