HOT MESS


Send to Friend

The opening image in the intermission-less comedy written by Dan Rothenberg and Colleen Crabtee is striking. Max Crumm as Max and Lucy DeVito as Elanor are in bed together, but the bed is vertical, and they are lying (actually standing) in it after having had sex. As they cuddle they reveal little things about themselves, but without getting to the nitty-gritty of their lives.

Both Max and Elanor are stand-up comics, with Max more of a writer. Each has something hidden, which we eventually get to know. The situation at first seems rather shallow, but as the play progresses it becomes increasingly entertaining, largely because of the appealing acting. The third member of the cast is talented Paul Molnar who plays Max’s friend, Lewis, who mocks Max’s growing romantic relationship with Elanor, but goads him into the need to be frank about his sex life with her.

Max, you see, has had gay relationships, and his attraction to Elanor leads him to consider himself bisexual. There are laughs in how he handles the revelation task, at one point taking to stand-up to inform an audience of his swinging both ways. But trying to get the nerve to tell Elanor at a rendezvous is difficult.

Both are in for a surprise. Elanor has been hiding something from Max that she is having trouble revealing. What the disclosures will do to their relationship is the subject of broad comedy, almost farce. Lucy DeVito, who plays Elanor and is the daughter of Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, is cute but also a riot when she goes into a “crash” that occurs when Elanor gets upset and needs to be snapped out of it, a task that confronts Max. They are very funny together and Lucy clearly has comic know-how, as does Crumm in his more reserved manner.

Although the play is on the thin side, the authors have provided an amusing set-up in the ultimate revelations, and Crumm and DeVito, abetted by the outrageousness of Molnar, do the rest under the snappy direction of Jonathan Silverstein. At the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Theater Center, 1627 Broadway at 50th Street, with the more convenient elevator entrance around the corner on 50th Street. Phone: 212-921-7862. Reviewed December 1, 2017.








Return to Previous Page