IBJ A&E editor Lou Harry makes another foray into the world of playwriting with Theatre on the Square's latest production, set in a 1980s Jersey Shore record store. Directed by Sam Fain, the play falls short of Harry’s thoughtful but scattershot script, which deconstructs the life of a pre-college store clerk (Angela, played by Abigail Glister) negotiating her first sexual experience.
After lengthy period of exposition, the play shifts forward into the future with a series of seven monologues given by Angela’s former lovers. The construct, though clever, is haphazardly brought to life via muddy direction and actors who fail to mine Harry's emotionally complex material.
Harry’s writing verges on poetic as he ruminates on the impact one person might have on several lives, but his plotting is skeletal. Little action takes place to move the story forward, and the production is further weighed down by slow pacing, a lack of connection or even eye contact between actors and a whole lot of unmotivated blocking.
It’s encouraging to see Theatre on the Square expand into new territory and collaborate with local playwrights. Unfortunately, this production falls short of the theater's lofty goals.