By Michael M. Humel
I was fortunate enough to witness the last performance of Closer by Patrick Marber at the Las Vegas Little Theater. The play has many layers within each character. However, it is mainly about each characters truth, and self indulgence.
Daniel Woolf played by Brian Proffit is an obituary writer and wannabe novelist. His character was the least interesting with the exception of anecdotes about his job. He meets Alice Ayers played by Stacia Zinkevich when she is hit by a taxi and he takes her to the hospital. The two spend time flirting he wants to get to know her better and she seems needy in her desire to spend time with him. They meet Larry a dermatologist played by Timothy Burris early on. While the encounter seemed innocent at its outer layer soon it becomes clear the effect this meeting would have on everyone.
As the play goes on Brian and Alice begin dating and it seems like a romance built for convenience. Daniel can have a girlfriend he can call his own and Alice can have someone to depend on and take care of her. While having his picture taken for a book he has published about Alice’s former life as a stripper he meets and falls in love with Anna played by Jamie Carvelli-Pikrone. This moment in the play confused me because I wasn’t sure had they met before or was this a love at first sight encounter. The first moment when we see how filthy and seedy Larry can be is when Dan and Larry meet in an adult chat room and have sex. The language in this scene proclaims its adult themes and ensures this play is not for children. Dan tells Larry to meet him at the aquarium where he meets Anna mistakes her for the woman in the chat room and after he is made to feel like a fool they become close and start dating. This scene didn’t seem genuine to me in that it didn’t feel like something that would actually happen. A woman who was mistaken for someone who would frequent chat rooms I would think would be turned off by someone who openly admitted to having sex in one.
The two of them get married and as time goes on she sees Dan and begins carrying on an affair with him. After the two lovers tell their partners the truth they leave them for each other. When Anna tells Larry she is leaving him his reaction is sad and angry. Timothy Burris is able to play what seems like two personalities in one character which stands him out in the unfolding of this play. Even though he is angry Anna has left him he also is able to convey a sense of loneliness and insecurity. Later in the play one scene when Anna is late meeting Dan she tells him she met Larry to have him sign the divorce papers. In a moment of honesty Anna admits she slept with Larry so he would sign the divorce papers. Jamie Carvelli-Pikrone’s attempt to redeem herself for past mistakes and the genuine nature of her confession is poignant. Innocence and longing to be loved, Zinkevich made me relate to her character in a way as well as feel compassion for her situation. After Dan and Alice split up Larry meets her in a strip club. Another scene that displays Burris portraying a lower class version of his everyday doctor occupation that brings a sense of excitement to the play. Stacia Zinkevich shows a more mature and confident Alice in this scene.
The costumes by Lee Meyers set a tone for the characters personalities as well as the situations they were in. This was especially evident in the chat room and strip club scenes. The continual changes in relationships as far as who was with who in this scene grew tiresome