Written by Barbara Kahn Directed by Steven O'Donnell Gina....... .E Grace Noonan Amy...... ..Devery Doleman Robin.. ...Catherine Clark Marilyn.....Rebecca Weitman Set Design by Sandra Heffley Costume Design by Karen Martakos Lighting Design by Karen Davis-Brownlow Original Music by Larry Bailey Stage Manager Maeve McGrath at the TRIANGLE THEATER COMPANY 58 Berkeley Street, BOSTON 1(617)426-3550 till 27 April
The phrase "situation comedy" has acquired a contemptuous connotation since it usually describes simple formulas wearing out their welcome in endless television repetitions. But what if it were a few hours of theater?
Think of this situation: a person unable to recover from the break-up with a live-in lover meets and falls for a much younger and equally smitten replacement --- only to have the past in the form of the ex come back to restage their old battles. It's only New-Age group-therapy by an old friend of both old lovers that can help everyone which love is true and make its course run smooth again. Inside your living-room goldfish bowl that's enough for thirteen weeks at least, and residuals.
Except that in Barbara Kahn's "Seating And Other Arrangements" all four people are women.
For the Triangle Theater Company's production, Artistic Director Steven O'Donnell must have chosen four perfect body- types. E Grace Noonan is solid, settled, experienced, resistant to change and just a touch territorial. Devery Doleman is smoothly slender, coltish, innocently sexy, with a valley-girl lilt to all her lines and a tendency to talk a lot when she finds nothing to say. Catherine Clark is stylishly worldly, self-assured, and a fierce competitor who hates to lose. Rebecca Weitman is relaxed in comfortable clothes, at ease in the lotus-position, and a stern but gushy negotiator at home with every feel-good pop-psychology cliche in the book.
Each of these actresses, however, comes into the fray with a fully developed sense of self and spontaneous, unflinching reactions to one another. There is genuine fire between the two old flames, hesitant vulnerability in the new, and a warm glow in the embers of past passion that patiently coaxes out a resolution. And everyone is completely at home with Barbara Kahn's easy, contemporary, bubblingly funny dialog. The fun arises as much out of fully observed character as it does simply from situation.
In this production there is a fish-bowl on Sandra Heffley's crowded yet smoothly workable set, but this is one situation- comedy that is much bigger and more satisfyingly enjoyable than anything the boob-tube has to offer.