Beyond Therapy -- Outrageous Fun.
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: Karen tells me that I have seen this play in a very early incarnation at the Yale Rep in New Haven in the '80s, I don't remember it all. What I am talking about is Christopher Durang's comedy Beyond Therapy
KAREN: which is now at the Westport Country Playhouse
BOB: it is a terrifically funny play
KAREN: it is wild and wooly
BOB: typical Chris Durang
KAREN: and perhaps, if you are a psychiatrist you might not want to see this -- they are not shown at their best.
BOB: David Kennedy does a very good job directing this and he gets the actors to characterize their parts perfectly. The way the notes describe it, "After a disastrous first date, Bruce and Prudence seek solace in therapy -- despite both their therapists being stark, raving mad. And that's only the beginning of their problems. Durang's topsy-turvy world is a potent cocktail of sexual mix-ups, relationship neuroses, and serious lack of impulse control. The play contains adult content and language."
KAREN: This is not realism -- it is outrageous comedy.
BOB: It is Chris Durang.
KAREN: The couple meets on this blind date at a restaurant with no waiters, they each have their issues including the fact that he has a male lover. They then retreat to their therapists. Her therapist is a super macho man who keeps hitting on her, and the man goes to this motherly woman who is totally nuts.
BOB: She is my favorite character. Kathleen McNenny plays her.
KAREN: This is a woman who forgets words, forgets which patient she is seeing, offers totally inappropriate suggestions,
BOB: but she is a sweetheart. And she has these wonderful eyes that she blinks at the patients with, and how could not love her.
KAREN: And there is the waiter-less restaurant. This is wild and wooly -- you HAVE to suspend disbelief.
BOB: There is a lot of funny stuff
KAREN: You have to be in the right frame of mind of this. It is a little like a "Saturday Night Life" sketch at times. Chris Durang is a brilliant comedic playwright.
BOB: He started as an undergraduate at Yale.
KAREN: This is an early work. It's a good production.
BOB: You will enjoy it. Beyond Therapy is at the Westport Playhouse through May 14.
This review ran on WNHU-FM 88.7 and www.wnhu.net.