All For Two LLC
TWO BROTHERS who are not brothers
By PAUL RAWLINGS
JOHN JIMERSON and JOE THOMPSON
Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., NYC, October 27, 2004 - November 7, 2004
Directed by SUE LAWLESS
Scenic Design MICHAEL HOTOPP
Costume Design VANESSA LEUCK
Lighting Design GREG HIRSCH
Sound Design MICHAEL G. WARD
Production Stage Manager NICK LEAVENS
Press Representative OPR/ORIGLIO PUBLIC RELATIONS
Tragic loss is a recent event in common for the TWO BROTHERS who are not brothers, but having shared an experience has done little to build bonds between them. As one man isolates himself, the other seems unreasonably well grounded. Somewhere in between, a difficult friendship exists. Ultimately, the tenuous ties unravel.
If this sounds like it falls somewhere on the dull side of cryptic, then I have succeeded in conveying the overall essence of TWO BROTHERS. A tale of two men who married sisters and had two children each, only to lose the entirety of both families to random gun violence, this is the kind of play that should have packed an emotional, dramatic punch. Instead, it is boring, and treading on the murky waters of melodrama.
A shame, really, because there are glimpses of talent all over the place. The writing is not bad. It is repetitive, and sometimes outright issue oriented. Just about every scene involves the religious Jack (John Jimerson) trying to coax non-believer Dix (Joe Thompson) to accept his God. This fails to work, time after time. Then, once the mystery of the TWO BROTHERS shared tragedy is finally voiced (the secrecy on this point does nothing to aid the plot), Dix periodically falls into trite anti-gun dialogue diatribes that ring about as authentic as a subway ad promising big bucks for working from home.
This play was a hard one to get into. There was not even mood music to ease the scene changes, or to at least clue me in to what the writer and director intended the audience to be experiencing emotionally. In the end, TWO BROTHERS who are not brothers felt like the two acts that did not quite result in a play. Oh so close, and yet, so far away.
- Kessa De Santis -