Elliot (Ryan Eggold) is freaking out. His best friend since forever, Amy (Alexandra Breckenridge) is one week away from getting married to Michael (Robert Baker), a doctor and her steady of two years. In fact, in a momentary lapse of sanity, Elliot tries to talk Amy out of the wedding. For almost a minute, he even almost convinces himself that he is in love with Amy. A single kiss between them solidifies that they are indeed soul mates – albeit not romantically. Amy finds Elliot’s pleas very cute, but she is committed to marrying Michael.
Amy and Elliot is about growing pain of adulthood. The insidious seed of doubt. The nagging pang of uncertainty that something better is just around the corner. Moreover, this play explores the fear that maybe you are settling; that maybe you have surrendered your dreams and goals for the life you are expected to have and lead – as a grown-up.
I had a great time at this show. The script and direction are tight and fluid. Coincidence felt like coincidence, and earnest felt like earnest; meaning there was nothing forced about this story. I experienced that rarely fly-on-the-wall sensation, where the artifice of acting and manufactured dilemma was totally absent. We all know these characters, we’ve seen them before. Yet even within this minimal cast of four, there is at least one character that everyone can relate to. While the characters and situation are familiar, the rendering of the tale felt quite authentic, remarkably effortless.
Gillian Zinser is terrific as Jolene, the person in which Elliot meets him match (in more ways than one). Likewise Robert Baker does a great job of being the straight man – who is not too straight. Baker imbues Michael with a sense of fun that is ultimately an emotional, three-dimensional character. Finally, Alexandra Breckenridge skillfully see-saws Amy between the pull of two very different loves: the favorite playmate that feeds her nostalgic longing or a new partner with which to share the complications and unknowns of adulthood.
Writer/Director Ryan Eggold has written a great part for himself with Elliot: a playful, evasion man-boy who, despite his frequent proclamations, can learn and change, and grow. It is a wonderfully measured performance in what could easily have been a vanity piece. The timing and talent of this cast is rock solid. Across the board, the entire cast is funny and present and very likable Well DONE.
Personally, I am so glad that someone has finally illuminated the therapeutic properties of Cap’n Crunch.
AMY and ELLIOT opens January 7th and runs through January 30th 2011 @:
Stella Adler Theatre
The Gilbert Stage
6773 Hollywood Blvd
LA, CA 90028
Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm, Sundays @ 3pm.
Tickets: $20 General Admission
Reservations: Call 323-960-7863 or
online at www.plays411.com/amyandelliot