BED, at the Chopin Theatre. At first we’re led to believe that the man and woman who wake up together in Bed have just indulged in a drunken one-night stand. But the more they talk (and they do talk and talk and talk), the more it seems they must know each other pretty well, sharing their past loves, current marriages, scraps of wisdom from therapy–the sort of things you don’t share with a stranger, even one you’ve exchanged bodily fluids with. But playwright Anastasia Royal never tells us who these two are, or why they feel the need to speak in long, pretentious mock-heroic passages, discussing metaphors the way most people comment on the weather and making sweeping but not very profound generalizations about life, love, and the universe (“Marriage is like tuning in to a distant radio station”).

In many ways this unfocused, awkward play is identical to hundreds of other self-produced works in need of major rewrites I’ve seen–with one difference: we get to see it twice, once with one cast, once with another. They don’t even perform two variations on the play; they do the same boring, gassy one-act twice. With different casts. And every time Royal does the play, she claims it will have a different cast. Get it? It’s a different show every time it’s done.

Except it’s not. It’s the same show with different actors, some of whom are OK, some of whom are so clumsily directed (by Royal) that even the stronger sections of her work seem weak. –Jack Helbig