The fully realized dive of a New York bar draws you in, even before the play begins. (“Nice set”, remarked a woman as she took her seat.) And the actors keep you there for a riveting two hours of heightened reality. Writer/director ELIZABETH SARNOFF brings the same genius to the stage that raised the bar for television (Lost, Deadwood, Alcatraz). Slow Dance in Midtown is a triumph and a vibrant rebuke to the tired cliché that the LA stage is glorified auditioning for film.
Sal (NICK STABILE) and Frank (DON SWAYZE) are family members stretched on the rack of opposing, equally compelling loyalties. Former best friends Maria (MEREDITH SCOTT LYNN) and Kate (TRICIA SMALL) confront a searing betrayal and volcanic feelings no longer dormant. The masterful unfolding of the characters and their
predicaments is a seductive slow dance of language, leading us around the stage floor to every corner of emotion.
Slow Dance in Midtown has a richness that repays a second visit. With artful recollections of past atrocities and sly allusions, Sarnoff draws the connection between the world’s unforgettable atrocities and how we face the enduring pain from those we love. In her Director’s Notes, Sarnoff wants to celebrate the miracle that “through all our hurt, our wounds our incredible, fragile and flawed humanity, we somehow find the strength to keep trying”.
Slow Dance in Midtown summons that miracle with inspired acting and language beautifully profane and brutally honest.
Tickets $20. Continues Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. thru May 12 at the Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. Call 818-990-2324 or visit slowdanceinmidtown.com.