Sunday, June 21, 2009

Heart of the City at The Theatre at 30th Street

Friday night, I saw Heart of the City, by Eric Lane.

I loved the play. It was a series of encounters and relationship stories told in short vignettes over about 90 minutes. It reminded me of Love Actually, without the sentimentality. The excellent ensemble cast is Eliza Foss, Scott Kerns, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Martin LaPlatney, Melissa Miller and Mark Setlock, who each play multiple characters. Martha Banta directs.

The story is about people who encounter each other, a few by kismet, a few in existing, evolving or ending, relationships - husband and wife, parents and children, new lovers, and some are slowly building into new friendships. As the play unfolds, it becomes evident that each of the stories is related. The only character who seems unrelated to any of the others is Carlos, a young gay man who has immigrated from Spain to find love. We learn his story through his narration, a monologue that breaks the fourth wall. He has unseen random encounters in New York and eventually it's New York City that is his relationship. Scott Kerns is adorable as Carlos.

Heart of the City runs at The Theatre on 30th Street, an intimate 100 seater between 7th and 8th Avenue, through June 28th.

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