NYTheaterNow.com

Two Point Oh

by Rochelle Denton on 10.9.13

"An extremely clever logic puzzle."

"The text is truly revelatory when it charts Melanie’s journey, as her arrested grief transforms into true insight about the nature of her marriage — sorting out the agency she unwillingly surrenders and, more importantly, the agency she willingly does."

“'Technology is dehumanizing us. It’s making us fat, lazy, unable to think for ourselves.' In the opening lines of the play, Elliot mocks the Luddites who stand in the way of progress (and his company’s profits). The question we are forced to ask is whether “technology” stands as merely a byword for any external force we allow to subvert our free will and responsibility — be it a gadget, a belief system, or simply another person."

"The relaxed, capable cast is so deftly directed by Michael Unger that the audience is only dimly aware that given the dimensions of the space the actors have pretty much no physical place to go once onstage. Much is asked of Graves — Melanie is never far from crisis or collapse — and she delivers, making the most of her close proximity to the audience, selling the hook upon which the plot hangs: a believable love story between a grieving wife and a giant television screen."

"Ludwig’s dry, caustic Ben Robbins is so delightful you might have a hard time believing him as a meek second fiddle to the dynamic Leeds. Antoinette LaVecchia relishes her role as a corporate cutthroat, and Michael Sean McGuinness underplays television pundit Jerry Gold for superior comic effect."

"Kris Stone’s economical scenic design makes the most out of the intimate performance setting, with furniture and props that fit together like an intricate puzzle, and David Bengali’s media / projection design does some heavy lifting to create a believable world beyond the play’s stage."

"There is something post-human about the entire production that extends beyond its virtual cast member. Despite the audience’s proximity to the actors, there is a cold distance between us all, and between the characters themselves. Perhaps that is merely a reflection of what constitutes humanity in the twenty first century (after all, a string of code and a flash drive serve as this production’s version of Chekhov’s gun; it doesn’t get much more contemporary than that)."

"But ultimately, that’s Melanie’s lament: our willingness to keep others — even our soul mates — at arm’s length, to see relationships conducted on opposite ends of camera phones as normal. Her capitulation, accepting a partner she cannot touch, is a tragic surrender that is not without consequence. The fact that none of these consequences are profound or dangerous perhaps says more about our benumbed state than anything else could."