6.16.2012

Can't summer in Cape Cod? See Modern Drama.


That's right, I used "summer" as a verb. It's a long-lost figure of speech from only the finest WASP circles, and we should bring it back. What sparked this sudden desire for nautical wear and Katherine Hepburn-esque self righteousness?

It was the play Modern Drama. It's been described as Noel Coward's Private Lives meets Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. But one can get a feel for the play simply by reading the director's bio. Before it digs into his (numerous) theatre awards and education (but while we're here, he has an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon), it reads like this:

Bill Sterritt has smoked a cigar in Havana, bartered for rugs in Tangiers, quaffed a beer in East Berlin before the wall fell and damn near got arrested by the secret police for driving down the wrong way of a one way street in Prague back in the good old days of the Eastern bloc.

This stream of consciousness funnels straight into his play, a comedy of errors set in Cape Cod. When you step into SPQR Stage Company, it's an immersive experience. Cape Cod surrounds you. Guests are invited to sit in a cabana strung with party lights and settle into Adirondack chairs. The sound of ocean waves fill the room and you're handed an ice-cold Sea Breeze cocktail, gratis.

The script is jam-packed with Sterritt's mile-a-minute eccentricities, and actor Rich Brunner keeps up with it perfectly, not letting it overwhelm him. In his lead role as Crocker Morton, a down-and-out playwright, he's comfortable in this own skin, doesn't over-act and plays perfectly to the small theatre. In Modern Drama, he struggles to move past his one great theatre achievement, Mind Your Manners. He attempts to maneuver marital roadblocks and a small cast of doppelgangers that act out his insecurities and inner demons.

This play comes just in time. Summer is still new and full of possibilities, and for those who can't summer on The Cape (I did it again!) or get a place in Southampton, get your dose of Tommy Hilfiger right here. This Modern Drama is white, wealthy, drunk and funny.

And while I'm at it, this woman stole my life:



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