Reviewed by Kenneth Laboy
‘Quiet Enjoyment’ is an apt title for this comedy by Richard Curtis. Directed by Marcus Gualberto, the play centers on a fastidious co-op closing where everything that can go wrong, does.
Staged in the Playroom Theater, the small space is used eloquently with a large table being the centerpiece and quiet corners for the asides. There isn’t much space, but Gualberto doesn’t let the cramped stage get in the way of maintaining energy and movement required for the play. Even with as many as eight actors on stage, it never feels cluttered. And the players always have space to play.
His actors do a great job with Curtis’ snappy dialogue, and squeeze as much comedy from every moment as they can. The best thing about their performances? They are having fun up in that stage! They are enjoying every second, and it is always a joy to see actors engaged in their performances with such zeal.
The play text itself is dense with comedy – smart word play, incisive character choices, sort of, a farce without doors. And yet, for much of the running time I smiled more than I chuckled. It was constantly pleasant, but the enjoyment was somehow subdued. The culprit for this might be the running time. The production is slightly over 90 minutes. And while movement is constant on stage, the dialogue itself could be more tightly paced.
Conversations here had a realness to them that lacked the urgency demanded by the farce.
Quiet Enjoyment plays now through Sunday, September 22nd in The Playroom Theatre (418 East 46th Street, NYC)
Tickets can be bought at http://QuietEnjoyment.BrownPaperTickets.com for $25