I get it. Two people on a small stage. It’s probably very difficult to make this convincing, especially when one of the actors is Julia Stiles, who is famous and therefore has to try even harder to get the audience to see her as a character and not a celebrity.
But I did not enjoy this play. I’m sure both actors are very talented in general, but as people who were supposed to be interacting in a “dark romantic comedy,” they fell way short.
Am I being too hard on a play that is still technically in previews? No. The best part was when one of the characters randomly said he was a time traveler from the future and I thought it might turn into a time travel play. I think he was actually kidding because he continued that story for at least 10 minutes and then they just went on as if it had never happened, but I can’t really be sure. Mostly because I wish it was an actual plot point. At least then it would be a bad play but also absurd–and if you’re going to be a bad play, I think we can all agree the least you can do is add a little absurdity.
Anyway, go see Phoenix if you want to watch 2 people with no chemistry perform lines as if they’re reading them straight from the script. Or if you especially like Julia Stiles, I guess. Though in that case you’ll just feel bad for her because she obviously really needs work if she took on this role.