Monday, March 8, 2010

The Dew Point - by Neena Berber

The Dew Point
premiered in 2001. It's a 2 act play with 4 scenes in the first act and 6 in the second. 5 characters, three women and two men. In a quick nutshell, Mimi is engaged to Kai, remains friends with Jack, a former lover who cheated on her, Jack is dating an actress 20 years his junior and starts a thing with Mimi's friend, Phyllis. From here a play investigating friendship, marriage, attraction, manipulation and how rot seeps into things and destroys things over time, spiderwebs out through each scene - culminating in a choice and a release.

The opening image is Mimi staring at a chair and Jack watching her. It's an arty chair. Jack made it specially as a wedding gift for her and Kai. Mimi is restrained in her praise, Jack is needy for it, for her excitement, her approval. And it's pointed out, a single chair is an odd gift for a couple. Most of the play occurs in Mimi's apartment so the chair remains present and potent throughout, and is brought back explicitly into play in the penultimate scene.

It is a very clean play. The characters each work, their jobs play into the fabric of the action and propel decisions and attitudes. A couple moments of scenes from the past interject themselves, giving glimpses into Mimi's state of mind, what she is attempting to balance, to move forward through, until it all comes crashing down.

Jack, the irrepressible womanizer, artist, self-centered, self-justifying cad at the center of the storm, remains true to his nature throughout. Baffling and troubling as it may become to those around him.

And there's a lot of funny parts too.

And its' a New York City play, about New York City people. A little diorama of a world in an apartment and everything it takes to make those little worlds, keep them together, and all the little fractures that persist no matter how much plaster you slap up there.

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