Theater Wit presents
THE FOUR OF US
At 1229 W. Belmont
Written by Itamar Moses
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2:30pm
EXTENDS THRU DECEMBER 18th
Running Time: Ninety minutes without an intermission
Reviewed by Katy Walsh
Two people meet, connect and plan for a future together. Distance and time shift the relationship. They drift apart without acknowledging it. How to mend or end the bro-mance? Theater Wit presents the Midwest premiere of THE FOUR OF US. The play opens with Dave and Ben lunching. The stilted and formal conversation suggests acquaintances. Through the dialogue, it’s cobbled together the guys have known each other for years. Per a childhood pact, Dave is picking up the tab in honor of Ben’s recent book deal. At Dave’s urging, Ben reveals he signed a $2 million contract. The shaky bro-mantic lunch is over but is the friendship? THE FOUR OF US is a hilarious story and backstory of two guys in different times. The “Back To The Future” approach is hindsight revisited for clues to how success fails.
Playwright Itamar Moses uses authentic dialogue and relatable characters to exploit life’s comedic moments. His ‘hard to believe it’s real if no one is watching’ line captures the overall organic surrealism of relationships and the show. The end scenes blur art imitating life. The truthful close hints of a ‘Dave is Itamar is Usman’ riddle. Under the direction of Jeremy Wechsler, the present to past scenes transition rapidly with movable panels and an energetic soundtrack. The two man show is four-play satisfaction. Usman Ally (David) is hysterical as the high-strung, fast-talking, hot-tempered guy. Ally rages about Ben’s pop culture ignorance with riotous flailing. Ally rants his annoyed disbelief at high-charged absurd levels. Ally is miserably funny! Colin Geraghty (Benjamin) plays the straight guy with oblivious cheer. He brings balance to the volatile conversations. Geraghty seems mostly unaffected by fame which makes him an amicable guy. It’s this likability that infuriates Dave and slaps the punchline. Geraghty does get to deviate from even-keel for his own highly amusing bear-it-all encounter.
Moses goes where men fear to tread… relationship analysis. If a man hates when a woman ‘needs to talk,’ two men chatting about ‘what went wrong?’ is a testosterone implosion. Moses explodes the humor in his bro-mance on the rocks. THE FOUR OF US gives new meaning to friendly competition between writers.
With famous friends of her own, Jasleen describes the show with “meta-friendship story.”