Reviewed by Stephen Radosh
CV Rep’s final offering of the season is 2 ACROSS, a charming and frequently laugh out loud funny one act play by Jerry Mayer. Mr. Mayer has a background as a sitcom writer on many hit TV shows including M*A*S*H*, ALL IN THE FAMILY, and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. His TV experience does show which, in this case, is not in any way a negative. The play has the feel of a well written sitcom with snappy dialogue delivered by characters placed into a slightly contrived but still believable situation.
The setting is a train car on San Francisco’s BART system. It’s 4:30 A.M. and as the play begins we meet Janet (Andrea Gwynnel), the sole passenger on the car, who is crying. We later learn that her tears are the result of an unsuccessful attempt at the San Francisco Airport to keep her son from flying off to join the Marines. Her privacy is short-lived as Josh (Joel Bryant) just makes it into the car as the doors close behind him. Janet has occupied herself by doing the Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle. Josh
In the hands of a lesser actor, Josh could easily become irritating and totally unsympathetic. But Joel Bryant makes him both funny and endearing. Willing to lay on the self-deprecating humor and turn on the boyish charm, his Josh is insecure (he does crosswords with a pencil and eraser), likeable and someone for whom the audience is rooting.
Similarly, Andrea Gwynnel’s skill as an actress lets us see that Janet’s initial
Jimmy Cuomo’s set is spot on. Clean, simple and beautifully crafted, Mr. Cuomo, as always, transforms the CV Rep’s open space with a slick and sleek design which convincingly evokes the inside of a BART SYSTEM train car. Moira Wilkie Whitaker’s excellent lighting design is the perfect complement to Mr. Cuomo’s set.
Guaranteed to put a smile on the face of every audience member, 2 ACROSS runs until May 20, 2018. For further information and to order tickets visit www.cvrep.org. Photos courtesy of Greg Brunton.