BWW Review: See SUMMER SHORTS SERIES A at 59E59 Theaters
59E59 Theaters is currently presenting a real summertime treat for theatergoers, Summer Shorts 2017, Festival of New American Short Plays. Now in its 11th season, there is a Series A and a Series B each consisting of three one-act premieres. We attended Series A, a superb variety of wonderfully performed pieces with moments that will make you laugh and touch your heart. The shows are tailor made for your summer viewing.
The show opened with Jack. It is written by Melissa Ross and directed by Mimi O'Donnell. This two-hander opens with a divorced couple, George (Quincy Dunn-Baker) and Maggie (Claire Karpen) having a contentious conversation. While they can't seem to get along, there is something they can certainly agree about. George and Maggie both loved Jack, the dog who shared their lives for 18 years. Pet owners and many more will appreciate the sentiments expressed in Jack.
The second piece on the program is Playing God written by Alan Zweibel and directed by Maria Mileaf. God (Bill Buell) and his Assistant (Welker White) attempt to teach a self-indulgent young man, Doctor Fisher (Dana Watkins) some moral lessons. When God comes to earth and challenges the doctor to a squash game, hilarity ensues. Playing God is a very clever and thoroughly enjoyable play.
The final piece on the program is Acolyte written by GRAHAM MOORE and directed by Alexander Dinelaris. Ayn Rand (Orlagh Cassidy) and her husband, Frank O'Connor (Ted Koch) are entertaining a young married couple, Nathaniel (Sam Lilja) and Barbara (Bronte England-Nelson) in their home. As they engage in philosophical conversations, the subject of sex surfaces and Ayn encourages Nathaniel and Barbara to discuss some very personal details about their relationship. Edgy, yet amusing, Acolyte is a well conceived, thought provoking show.
The Production Team for Summer Shorts includes Set Design by Rebecca Lord-Surratt; Lighting Design by Greg MacPherson; Sound Design/Composer, Nick Moore; Costume Design by Amy Sutton; Props Design by Elisabeth Orr; Projection Design by Nicholas Hussong. The Associate Producer/Assistant Director for Acolyte is Krysta Bibbard; Assistant Director for Jack, Terry Kitagawa; Assistant Director for Playing God, Sarah Cronk; Casting, Kate Murray; Production Manager, Richard A. Leigh; Technical Director, Dan Teachout; Press Representative, Karen Greco; Production Stage Manager, Dee Dee Katchen; Stage Manager, Jenna R. Lazar; Production Assistant, Nick Puliafico; Production Intern, David Katchen.
Make time this month to see Summer Shorts 2017. With two programs available, it is an excellent opportunity to enjoy some of the best new plays that Off-Broadway theater has to offer.
Produced by Throughline Artists, Summer Shorts 2017 is at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues) through September 2nd. Series A runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.
Photo Credit: Jack by Carol Rosegg