2 COUPLES 2by Alejandro de la Costa
Directed by Mark-Brian Sonna
Assistant Director, Props & Stage Manager- Lindsey Humphries
Costume & Lighting Design- Mark-Brian Sonna
Sound & Set Design- Alejandro de la Costa
Production Coordinator- Dylan Peck
Xav- Dillon M. Ford
Zoe- Anne DeFilippo
Will- Spencer Christian Nelson
Yvette- Katie Reynolds
Reviewed Performance: 6/9/2012
Reviewed by Kayla Barrett, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
The men have no idea that their wives are having an affair. What the women don't know is that their husbands aren't being faithful either. They all suspect each other but refuse to confront their spouses for fear of revealing their own infidelities. In a small two bed cabin, just how long will they be able to keep their secrets? And who the hell is Paul? This play, written by MBS resident playwright Alejandro de la Costa and inspired by over-the-top Spanish Telenovelas is a whirlwind of twists, turns and who's doing who. This play is rated R for language, se*ual content and butts. Lots and lots of butts.
Stone Cottage Theatre is an intimate setting. The wood panel walls, peaked ceiling, green shutters and stone fireplace make a cozy little cabin sized room. There are several scenes which will make you blush, and in this tiny space you cannot pretend you missed them. The intimate space adds to the awkward and suspenseful silences and anticipation.
This play is written for current times, making references to Glee, Punk'd and an assortment of modern situations. Uplifting music choices by de la Costa include Fun's "We Are Young" and The Wanted's "I'm Glad You Came". During scene changes, electronic music is played.
2 Couples 2 is a dirty little farce about love, marriage, sex and infidelity. I find it intriguing that Alejandro de la Costa gives the characters names that begin with W, X, Y and Z. He also implements a suggestive cabin address. I appreciate the fact that de la Costa oversees the production and works with director Mark-Brian Sonna to ensure the original intent of the play. It isn't often that one gets to see a play in its complete and unadulterated format.
The beginning of the play is a little slow, but eventually picks up pace. Dillon M. Ford is Xav, sensitive and patient. Anne DeFilippo is his ditzy over-the-top wife Zoe. DeFilippo's exaggerated actions and excessive volume comes across as unnatural. However, her portrayal as Zoe is perhaps most true to the outrageous females found in Telenovelas. Her cheesy, slightly annoying character queues many of the play's laughing points, especially when she uses vulgar curses with her perky innocent voice. She makes a suggestive and hilarious gesture when explaining how she uses a spatula, and when she refers to "enchiladas" or "tacos". Zoe's excessive energy and stupidity often tests Xav's patience. Ford's reactive expressions during these times portray a humorously agitated husband.
The cute but dumb Will is played by Spencer Christian Nelson alongside Katie Reynolds as his sarcastic and temperamental wife Yvette. Reynolds' facetious attitude is funny. She makes the audience laugh when she struggles to come up with a realistic lie. Nelson is, as my husband put it, "ridiculously funny". He leaves a silly message for cabin management that seems to go on and on in a request for a two bedroom cabin. He makes lewd, absurd gestures while somehow maintaining a youthful charm. He suggests such activities as "Strip Poker!...Strip Go Fish!... Strip Crazy 8's?" to no avail.
Amongst all the secrets and suspense, Anne DeFilippo simply makes us laugh. Her character often gets angry but not about her marital disasters as you'd assume. She always makes something big of something benign while naively shrugging off the real shockers. She finally does suspect something is up when recalling the boys' fishing trip: "They didn't bring any fish!" Katie Reynolds is dynamic in her performance. She goes from simply sarcastic to insanely fierce when she grabs the boys' wrists and, as they writhe in pain, orders them to get her some Tylenol! We crack up when she says "I love you... they're the ones who are supposed to be faithful".
Ford and Nelson share some vital scenes. They have great chemistry together and make us laugh, blush and ponder. A memorable line from Ford is "Wow... this is like a bad soap opera". All four actors are engaging. Physical comedy is a substantial part of this play and facial expressions carry out many laughable scenes. In one instance, Nelson looks like he is trying to ward off vampires as he anticipates Yvette's vengeance. While I'd love to explain more about this play, I simply do not want to give away any of its secrets.
This play is highly unconventional, cerebral, dramatic, and surprising. With many twists and turns, it expresses the complicated concept of love. With many forms and levels of love, the task isn't easy. Still, when walking away from this wacky comedy, you come back with all kinds of questions about relationships.
MBS Productions, Stone Cottage Theatre
15650 Addison Road, Addison, TX 75001
Runs through June 30th
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm
Tickets are $18.00-$22.00 and can be purchased online at www.mbsproductions.net
or by calling the box office at 214-477-4942