• Date:
    May 1, 2005
    Review by:
    Polly Wittenberg

    Review by Polly Wittenberg

    Written by: by Rob Ackerman
    Directed by: Connie Grappo
    Cast: Matthew Boston, Elizabeth Connors, Tina Benko, Brennan Brown and Lou Sumrall.
    Synopsis: Disconnect is about married men at moral crossroads. By inviting near strangers to dinner, Steve, a telecommunications consultant, tries to avoid the lies of his life and his work. As the hastily arranged party takes one wrong turn after another, Steve begins to reveal a series of shocking events in his life, and the safe shell that protects both hosts and guests begins to crumble. Disconnect is about love, friendship and telecommunications. We all have newer faster, flashier ways to communicate � but are we really getting any better at it?

    Polly Wittenberg's Review.

    The Upper West Side of New York City has a lot to answer for. No longer the playground of the Sharks and the Jets, it is now the home of legions of upper middle class �foodies� with not-so-secret wishes to revert to childhood. That�s the message of Disconnect, a new play by Rob Ackerman produced by The Working Theater at the CSC�s home on East 13th Street.

    It�s a dinner party and the host and hostess (Matthew Boston and Elizabeth Connors) are obsessed with putting on a properly hip show for the guests (Tina Benko and Brennan Brown), also label-obsessed, whom them barely know. There�s also a �ghost� character (Lou Sumrall) who can be seen only by Steve, the host. The ghost is alternately Steve�s childhood best friend or his overbearing boss.

    The best thing I can say about the play is that it is well-crafted. The interactions of the characters, those with the ghost, and the staged flashbacks are clear and well-presented. The secrets held by each of the characters are doled out at a measured pace throughout the evening. All the acting is good and the direction by Connie Grappo is smooth.

    So, what�s my problem? There�s nothing new of substance here. Both marriages have problems. Memories of bad behavior, disappointments, even tragedies involving each of the characters and their friends lurk. And, rather than deal with the truths of adult life, all the characters would rather escape to the world of jingles. Who wouldn�t?

    Polly Wittenberg