Company’s coming, and the house is a mess. Thirtysomethings Mike and Deb
have no matching patio furniture, and their collective greatest
accomplishments are the deck Mike built in the yard and a single published
short story, the meager fruit of Mike’s creative writing degree. Unable to
cook and despairing of the central role a beanbag chair plays in their
interior design concept, the hapless couple decides charring meat outdoors
is the least humiliating way to entertain their friends. Adulting is hard.
It’s harder when your only friends are Win, an obnoxious bro who makes more
money than you do, and hipster foodies Ash and Lulu. Oh, and Win is dating
an actress named Glory who was born in 1996. The horror.
His characters having nothing better to do than insult each other openly
(Win) or passive-aggressively (Ash and Lulu), playwright Matt Lyle
introduces a deus ex machina poached directly from Thornton Wilder’s
Pulitzer-winning Skin of Our Teeth and designed as the ultimate
wish-fulfillment vehicle for small-pond losers everywhere: yes, it is the
apocalypse. Now that they’re all eating raccoons with only Mike’s short
stories for entertainment, Ash and Lulu’s impeccable style and Win’s stock
options no longer have any significance at all!
Though Lyle’s finely attuned to the anxieties of suburbanites on their
scramble toward the complacencies of middle age, the wittiest segments of
his script are the put-downs, which soon begin to grate. Under Marc James’s
direction, the ensemble is shouty and overwrought. v