Really, Really a play by Paul Downs Colaizzo that depicts the primordial problems of Generation Me, a description by some, of people born in the late 80’s and 90’s that possess a feeling of entitlement, wealth and fame is something they deserve and in a way, believe that its ok to do anything to get whatever you want. Some might call them selfish and others might call them achievers. However you choose to describe the people in the Generation Me category, this is a must watch the play to understand a little more about the characteristics of this generation.
This riveting production of Really, Really directed by Betty Karlen (Fame and The Bronx Zoo) captured the audiences and took them through an emotional roller-coaster with this comedic drama with lots of twists and turns. We start the play with Leigh (Emma Lynch) and Grace (Courtney O’donell) coming back to their apartment from a party, Grace’s hand is bleeding. Then we go to the guy’s apartment where Davis (Mike Bingaman) and Cooper (Jake Fortner) live. They are part of the rugby team in a wealthy college along with Jimmy (Javier Melgar Santoveña) and Johnson (Triz Jolivette). The party was at the guy’s house and Davis wakes up the next morning and doesn’t remember what happened, so Cooper lets him know that he had slept with Leigh, who happens to be Jimmy’s girlfriend. Davis does not remember any of it but Cooper lets him know that it happened, and drops hints that the act itself sounded rough. The morning after, Grace mentions to Leigh how she bled all over her sheets because of the cut on her hand, Jimmy pops over and we find out that Leigh is expecting Jimmy’s baby and that they are planning to build a life together, or so Leigh thinks because Jimmy finds out about her night with Davis. When Jimmy confronts Leigh, she says that the sex wasn’t consensual and that Davis raped her and that because of that she lost the baby, showing Jimmy Grace’s bloody sheets as proof, shocking the audience. The accusation is made and Davis is being summoned to the dean’s office. In a series and twists and turns the audience debates in their minds to what really happened, but the characters leave you wondering. Davis has a past of violence, Leigh has a past of abuse, Jimmy is the dean’s son and all the others are looking out for themselves and don’t wanna be involved in a scandal. Davis visits Leigh to say he is sorry because he honestly doesn’t remember but in a twist of events, they end up sleeping together and let us know that leigh has always been in love with him. On the other side, we have Jimmy manipulating Cooper to testify against his best friend. After Davis and Leigh are done, he believes everything is ok but when Leigh realizes that he never wanted her, she decides to hit herself, tear her clothes off and trash her apartment, because she knows Jimmy is coming by; but again, things don’t work as planned and Davis’s aggressive side comes out and rapes her.
The actors in the play take us through a hilarious journey because oddly enough the interactions between the characters are very funny until the truth comes out. I wanna commend the actors for making the characters so relatable and real and truly representing the author’s intention. Cooper’s college plan and lack of focus make for a hilarious interpretation by actor Jake Fortner. An exhilarating fight between Emma Lynch and Javier Melgar Santoveña (Leigh and Jimmy) where you can see what the characters are made off and what they say in a moment of rage, filling the audience with moments of astonishment. To finish, Melgar’s reaction with the ‘’loss’’ of the baby bringing us to tears. Lynch’s performance throughout the whole play was exquisite, powerful, and sometimes wicked, but also Lynch showed her vulnerable side, when her character talks about her abuse in the past, making the audience sympathize with her.
Very few times have I seen a play have such an audibly responsive audience, every single person in the theater was right there with the characters, thanks to the actors’ amazing job. Hands down, one of the most entertaining and exciting productions I have seen this year.
(Photography by Katherine Barcsay)