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BWW Review: 4000 DAYS at Richmond Triangle Players

A live and on-demand production at Richmond Triangle Players

BWW Review: 4000 DAYS at Richmond Triangle Players Richmond Triangle Players has had occasional live productions going through the pandemic, but its new "4000 Days" is the first in-person show for many newly vaccinated theatergoers. The socially distanced, masked patrons in the audience seemed happy to be in a theater at all, but "4000 Days" is only a mild inducement to come back.

Peter Quilter's three-hander wants to be an acid comedy with an unusual premise. Michael, a young gay man, has been in a coma for three weeks. His mother Carol and his longtime lover Paul have been sitting by his bedside waiting for him to wake up, trading barbs endlessly--Carol has never liked Paul. But when Michael wakens, he has amnesia and can't recall the last 11 years (or 4,000 days)--and hence, he can't remember Paul.

Sound like a soap opera plot? It's a much-used one. Quilter seeks to graft comic barbs onto this situation, but the jokes aren't very funny, and the pacing that director Lucian Restivo imposes is just too slow. Add to this a cockeyed hospital-room set by Dasia Gregg and wayward British accents, and you have kind of a mess.

All three actors--Carlen Kernish as the bearish Michael, Todd Patterson as a frightened Paul, and Jacqueline Jones as nasty Carol--work gamely through this, but it doesn't come together. Gregg's projections summarizing news events of the past 11 years end up being the most affecting elements of the show, along with the song choices Restivo makes for the sound design. Michael Jarrett's appropriately garish hospital lighting and Nia Safaar Banks' bold costume choices for Carol add interest, but "4000 Days" is a long time with not much fun.

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From This Author Susan Haubenstock