Originally posted on Bitter Lemons “Fringe Femmes” |
“Things Being What They Are” by Wendy MacLeod |
Okay. So this beer-infused, way-male two-hander is not particularly Fringey nor – except for its female playwright – is it remotely Femme. But in the hands of the guys (yep, I mean XY guys) from Moving Arts, Wendy MacLeod’s 2003 comedy is certainly good for some full-length fun and a surprisingly touching look at male friendships.
Darin Anthony directs Cameron Jappe and Chet Grissom as a pair of (yep, gotta go there) “odd couple” neighbors who meet and bond, initially over their absent wives. Quiet, buttoned-down Bill (Jappe) has just moved into a high-end condo complex and is anxiously setting the stage for his bohemian actress wife to join him, when he’s visited by the loud and totally invasive Jack (Grissom), an unhappily divorced dude who wears his neediness on his crumpled sleeve. Grissom is irresistible as this unexpected truth-teller and it’s a hoot following Jack’s stories of outrageous asshole exploits.
While MacLeod never takes us anywhere truly unexpected, she does throw in laugh-out-loud detours and a some lovely, tender moments – Jappe is most at home when he’s allowed to be at his most vulnerable. Who says men don’t have real friends? (And yep, I’m intrigued that it’s a woman writer who’s playing theatrical matchmaker.)