REVIEW: Never Before Was 'Therapy' This Much Fun

posted 01/20/11

Written by Joseph Gerace, Glen Rock Patch

An audience walking into Porch Light Production's latest black box show "Beyond Therapy" would be wise to repress their judgments of this play's peculiar characters until the curtain falls.

Each of the performance's big personalities comes fully loaded with issues that invoke wild unpredictability, and the audience witnesses each character unspooling before the easy-to-miss breakthrough finally occurs in this uproarious play directed by Ryan Pifher.

The 1981 comedy by Christopher Durang looks at the skewed dating lives of two slightly fractured singles trying to find true love and the therapists who, despite being in desperate need of therapy themselves, treat them.

Absurd and calamitous, the delightful plot spins out of control from the opening tics of Bruce and Prudence's first date.

Bruce, an overly emotional bisexual bran flakes aficionado, and Prudence, a stoic and tightly strung magazine writer, at first glance are polar opposites. And well, their date ends poorly.

Tensions strain and snap, love triangles are revealed, and the car crash rendezvous concludes with two tossed servings of room temperature water. Actors Phyto Stratis and Rachael Lee are hilarious bouncing expectations and neuroses off one another. On the night I attended, the audience-literally howling and bent forward in fits of mirth-couldn't have appeared more pleased.

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