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Three hours is a long time to watch dudes sitting on a couch

Wednesday, Jun 6 2007
A couple of finely nuanced and touching performances aren't enough to hold together this three-hour-long play about guys in Hollywood trying to make sense of the near misses and outright failures of their lives. Christian Phillips and Scott Agar Jaicks capture the tough-guy ribaldry and stunted emotional capacity of playwright David Rabe's main characters, two unlikely best friends who know how to talk the game but have no idea how to deal with the world around them. But the choice to stage nearly all of the play with actors sitting on — or, for variety, standing behind or next to — two large couches sucks all the dynamic life out of this story. What moments of revelation or insight the actors discover are quickly swallowed up by the set, which might mimic the mediocrity of these characters' lives but does nothing to engage us with the journey of the play. — Molly Rhodes

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Frank Wortham


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