Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Set Your Scope on Venus in Fur at Arena

I'd like to declare that there's a new hit play in Washington. David Ives is certainly one of the leading playwrights around today. We are lucky in Washington to have seen his adaptation of The Liar - now in New York - that featured an amazing rhyming scheme. His collection of short one acts, All in the Timing, has also played recently. I love the Groundhog Day-ish episode of the two people having a first dinner date and then the buzzer sounding any time someone says something that the other person doesn't like. It's incredibly funny. Venus in Fur played in New York a couple years ago but I don't remember any huge buzz. However, when I went back and looked at a couple reviews, they very good. Well, the play just fits Studio Theatre perfectly and the two actors are also perfect. In fact, I think Erica Sullivan will be competing against Jenny Jules (now in the amazing Ruined at Arena Stage) for the next Helen Hayes award. She's amazing as an actress trying out for a role in a racy play in front of the guy who adapted it. Christian Conn doesn't have to quite show the range that Sullivan does, but he does have some hurdles to conquer. He has to be a bit likeable although his play and his morals may not be. But the play succeeds because of wonderful writing, and that's Ives. Two people talking for 90 minutes is not easy, but the dialogue flows so easily as Sullivan keeps us guessing with her many guises, and we don't know quite know what to make of Conn. Please don't miss this play!  The audience stood up immediately after the play ended when I went, and you don't see that very often. Incredible work.