Canít let go




Written by Sean Michael Rice

Directed by Eileen Trilli

Husky Dog Productions (

Midtown International Theatre Festival (

Stage Left Studios, 438 West 37th St., 5th Floor

Non-union (through August 2, 2008)

Review by Michael D. Jackson


Sean Michael Rice has written a potent one act for two actors to square off with each other and fight to the emotional finish. The story concerns Annie and Sam, who were lovers for a number of years in California before Annie left the relationship to move to New York and take an important job. The move opened up a new world of independence for Annie, but although her career is great, there is still an empty hole left from the breakup. Sam, an artist who has never ďmade itĒ in the fame and fortune sense, but who is happy living simply, without many material possessions, is lost too. After not quite a year, he flies out to New York to reunite with Annie and see where things stand.


The first evening, over a few bottles of wine, the couple hashes it all out, going back and forth over details surrounding what went wrong in the relationship. Sam would like to get back together and try again, but Annie fears that sheíll lose her new found sense of independence. Itís all a familiar situation that allows for two people to go at it in the acting department. The resolution is no surprise, but itís the road to getting there that is important and the play was honored by two fine performances from Jeff Todesco and Annie Keating, who found all the nuggets of rich angst, sorrow and glimmers of joy in the material.


No one is specifically given credit for the design work, but obviously director Eileen Trilli has been thoughtful about these elements. A slide show showing the coupleís life prior to the breakup sets up the story very nicely. In the small confines of the Stage Left Studio, a reasonable assembly of odd furniture and props made Annieís apartment distinguished and suggested character. Annieís costume showed a woman who has adopted an urban life, while Samís costume exhibited his relaxed California life style. However, outside of a mention that Samís diseased father has left him seven flannel shirts to explain why he is wearing one, his clothes suggest a suburban dad in the style of Ray Romano rather than the L.A. artist he is supposed to be.


The production was created by the fledgling Husky Dog Productions and makes for an impressive debut. The play didnít offer much in the way of surprises or even originality, but it did provide some good dramatic material to show off two great actors.


Box Score:


Writing: 1

Directing: 2

Acting: 2

Sets: 2

Costumes: 1

Lighting/Sound: 1


Copyright 2008 by Michael D. Jackson


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