BWW Review: THE PROMOTION at NJ Rep Brings a Contemporary Story of Office Politics to the Long Branch Stage
"Don't treat me like a runner up before the race even starts."
By Trish in The Promotion
There's a lot of office politics and shenanigans happening in Joe Giovanietti's world premiere play, The Promotion now being performed at New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) through April 5. With the creative direction of the Company's Associate Artistic Director, Evan Bergman and a top-notch cast of four actors, this is a contemporary play that metro area audiences will surely enjoy.
Set in the office of the "Life One" insurance company, Josh and Trish are a sales team and seemingly good friends, but they have very different lifestyles. Josh aggressively works at boosting his earnings to provide for his family. Trish is a young African-American woman and an energetic go-getter who needs her salary to help care for her aging mother. When they learn that they are competing for the same promotion, their relationship becomes difficult and at times, awkward. And not only are they vying for the same position, but both of them attempt to land a big account with the firm's wealthy client, Hank. The temporary head of the firm's Human Resources Department, Lois is exasperated as she attempts to deal with Josh and Trish's mounting issues. You'll wonder just who will come out ahead as the office saga unfolds. The fast-moving, realistic story is often humorous but it also aptly addresses timely workplace issues that include race and gender bias.
NJ Rep has assembled the ideal cast for The Promotion. They include John Caliendo as Josh; Sophia Parola as Sophia; Chantal Jean Pierre as Lois; and Phillip Clark as Hank. The troupe is great at delivering Giovanetti's clever, quippy dialogue and brings the spirited story of office maneuvering to life. Memorable moments include Lois announcing the prospect of a promotion to Trish and Josh; Josh communicating by phone with his young son; Trish trying to find a caregiver in the evening for her mom; Trish and Josh returning late to the office after attending a charity event where they drank too much; Trish pitching insurance ideas to Hank for his business; and Lois attempting to mediate the conflict between Trish and Josh. Audiences will also like the surprising "Fun Facts" about the insurance industry that are projected on during scene changes.
The Creative Team has done a super job of bringing Life One's office setting to the Long Branch stage. They include scenic design by Jessica Parks; lighting design by Jill Nagle; costume design by Patricia E. Doherty; sound design and webmaster, Merek Royce Press. The Technical Director is Brian P. Snyder; Production Stage Manager is Kristin Pfeifer; Stage Manager/Company Manager is Adam VonPier; Assistant Director/Assistant Lighting Design, Janey Huber; and Fight Director, Brad Lemons.
Put The Promotion on your list of springtime theatre excursions. This well-crafted, finely presented play is one that will provoke interesting discussions and be long remembered after the curtain call.
The Promotion is the 137th production in 22 seasons that have been produced at New Jersey Repertory Company. We applaud Artistic Director, Suzanne Barabas and Executive Producer, Gabor Barabas for continuing to bring new plays to the stage that go on to be performed worldwide.
The Promotion runs for 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission. It will be performed through April 5 at New Jersey Repertory Company located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740. For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.njrep.org/ or call 732.229.3166.
Photo Credit: Andrea Phox Photography