Lonely people, in talking to each other, can make each other lonelier…Lillian Hellman
The venue is a high school and the story is about relationships in the present technological environment…but it is more. It is about the loneliness that appears to be a part of everyone’s life. But though thought provoking, Connected is also highly entertaining.
Comprised of a collection of vignettes, the work is wonderfully original, technically adept, and presented by an extremely talented cast. The eight cast members, Midori Francis, Dana Jacks, Joachim Boyle, Ella Dershowitz, Robby Clater, Thomas Muccioli, Gus Birney and Aria Shaoghasemi, each portray multiple characters. Given that challenge, each actor has very successfully fleshed out his or her individual characters.
Midori Francis and Ella Dershowitz
We first meet Meghan who has unintentionally become an instant celebrity when her video goes viral. It shows her doing a strip tease in the schoolyard and ends with her covered with body paint, a way she came up with for asking a long-time crush for a date to the prom. She is distraught, embarrassed and tearful at the unwanted publicity. Appearing on numerous talk shows, she ends up with Justin Bieber as her prom date.
There is a wide array of characters including (but not limited to) two partygirls whose sole purpose in life seems to be finding and being a part of “the perfect party,” a few individuals who consume vast amounts of vodka as a potential solution to life’s problems, and a teacher who, while on a dating website, unknowingly finds herself seduced by one of her students.
Robby Clater and Thomas Muccioli
There is also a girl who, though desperately needing a job, turns down an offer saying she can’t work evenings. The reason, which she does not disclose, is because that’s when she plays war craft games online. Some of the most ingenious scenes are these role-playing games portrayed on stage. Notable are the costumes designed by Jessa-Raye Court.
The predominant feeling expressed by everyone seems to be that “some people just have it all…I’ll never be like that.” The question posed is “Why are we all still so lonely?” At the end, there is no answer to the question, but simply hope offered with, “You keep trying.”
Midori Francis and Dana Jacks
Lia Romeo has written with a great deal of perception, and a talent for creating very believable dialogue. Director Michole Biancosino skillfully moves the production forward from one scene to another with ease. It is an ensemble work with all members of the creative and production teams working together successfully. Special mention goes to Set Design (Matthew J. Fick), Lighting Design (Ben Hagen) and Original Music and Sound Design (Amit Prakash).
Connected provides a thoroughly enjoyable, funny and thought provoking evening.
Photos by Hunter Canning
Opening: Thomas Muccioli, Midori Francis, Robby Clater, Gus Birney and Joachim Boyle
Connected, presented by Project Y Theatre Company, continues its run through March 26, Wednesday through Thursday at 7:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 at 59E59 Theaters East 59th between Park and Madison.