Two tragic stories, interlocked around one traumatized girl, deliver a realistic drama, and a good view at how maturation can go horribly wrong. Much of BFF is telegraphed by the choice to jump between past and present, but it's still engaging to watch, mostly because it's so understandable.
Reviewed by Aaron Riccio
How lightly do you take friendship? BFF looks at the dark side of what it means to be Best Friends Forever, and while the show is a bit predictable in its twists, playwright Anna Ziegler's momentum is exciting. The show jumps back and forth between a once idyllic childhood of poolside chats and slumber parties and the grownup "equivalent" of dates in the park and bedside romance. It's nice to see what gets lost as we get older, even if there is a more sinister tenor to Ziegler's script.
The cast performs well, and each has a moment to shine, but the script is littered with a bunch of somewhat repetitious scenes. Even though takes place without an intermission, it seems like there's still plenty of room to cut; that, or there needs to be more of a change of pace in the scenes themselves. Scenes like the one pictured, where the past bleeds through the set's aquarium windows into the present, are few and far between, and it looks like director Josh Hecht just wasn't given enough raw material to keep vivid. Aside from his one poor budgetary decision to cast a multimedia "scene" against the frames of the set (which gives a cartoonish feel to the straight show), Hecht does an otherwise fantastic job of transporting us through their world.
BFF isn't an epic drama, which you probably guessed from the somewhat mocking title, but it does occasionally come across as being too light for its own good. Yes, the show is set in the real world, and yes, we've all had similar experiences, but I sometimes get the sense that the characters are knowingly parodying their situation instead of living it truthfully. Given the performances, especially that of Laura Heisler, who brings more levels to her clingy and immature character than Sasha Eden's occasionally one-sided stoniness, I have a feeling that the minor flaws rest in the script's tone.
This show won't change your life, but it will entertain you, and if you're in the mood for something light yet serious, BFF packs a lot of relationship woes into 90 minutes.
DR2 Theater (103 East 15th Street)
Tickets (212-239-6200): $25-35
Performances: Monday - Saturday @ 8:00
According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.