The Right Kind of People
Directed by Christine Weems
Playing at the Obsidian Theatre at 3522 White Oak from January 10th to the 20th. Tickets are $15, with a discount for buying a ticket for the sister show Armageddon Dance Party, also currently running.
H. G. Welch
If you want to pay it forward on Saint Valentine's Day, you could do far worse than going to see The Right Kind of People by Michael Weems at the Obsidian Theatre. The performance is a short and well done reminder of why “To thine own self be true” still rings true. Start with two people with nothing in common except they are tired of people judging them on their life. Throw in a wise but crude roommate and you have the makings of a rather funny romantic comedy.
Eva (Cassandra Austen) is a Luddite that works in a book store with no phone, car or most modern conveniences. Tim (Conor Farrell) is a hockey nut working a dead end job as a landscaper. They have literally nothing in common, or so they think. Sent on a blind date by friends and family concerned for their long term single status they begin a tenuous relationship that seems doomed from the start. She finds hockey barbaric, and has some seriously pent up anger issues, he's lax and oblivious to the fact she's happy being unplugged from the world. Of course they fight, and then the reconciliation begins.
The humor of the play is centered mostly on honesty. Both Eva and Tim try to force themselves to like what the other likes, to disastrous effect. Eva is honestly a good person trying to live her life on her terms. Tim is trapped in a life he doesn't want, but doesn't know any other way. Both are terrified of change, yet desire it deeply. Both leads play this one single shared feature of the characters extremely well. When Tim tries to save the relationship by mimicking Eva's excellent cooking or spot on gift giving he fails badly. When Eva reciprocates by pretending to like hockey and trying to use a cellphone you can tell she's miserable. The one thing that holds them together is an unlikely savior in Ronnie (Steve Brown), Tim's rather vulgar roommate.
Where Tim and Eva are generally good people trying to make a difficult relationship work, Ronnie is a self admitted bad person who at least knows he is seriously and deeply flawed. But he happens to be an excellent judge of character and shows off his talent at this quite hilariously. Brown obviously had a blast in his role, every scene he appeared in drew no small amount of laughter. His entire motivational speech would be considered horrific if he didn't put it into perspective first. It still was horrific, but at least it was also motivating.
All parts of the play hit, there is no lag while the story develops. Austen is great as both a backwards prude and the make believe vamp Eva becomes. Farrell plays the sad sack well, whose only joy is the new woman that is so unlike him she makes him want to change. Christine Weems has the play push forward, moving it from one scene to another giving it a true feel of a whirlwind romance. The play is long enough to be interesting and memorable, but short enough not to drag or become maudlin. It's good for the long time theater goer or some one looking for a unique date night.
The Right Kind of People directed by Christine Weems is playing at the Obsidian Theatre at 3522 White Oak from January 10th to the 20th. Tickets are $20, with a discount for buying a ticket for the sister show Armageddon Dance Party, also currently running.