November 20, 2017

New York Water Review – A Tale of Three Cities

Ross Benjamin and Bridget Flanery - Photo by Michael Lamont

New York water is definitely the best water in the world, and it’s the most colorful too. New York rusty pipes and interesting additives often make for a rainbow of delight. In any case, that’s what Linda Shoup (Bridget Flanery) and Albert Hives (Ross Benjamin) believe. Except for the teeming crowds, criminal violence, and germy air, New York is definitely the place to live.

Bridget Flanery and Ross Benjamin

When Linda sends a crown-covered jerk to Bloomingdales to dole out flyers, she has no idea what – or whom – she will attract. But it can be pretty lonely for a single in New York – so extreme measures may be called for. Thus, the odd couple meet. He, an incompetent – but very sweet – accountant; and she, a driven, double A, professional receptionist. Each, in their own way, an obsessive-compulsive with issues which may just happen to coincide.

Bridget Flanery and Ross Benjamin

Award-winning playwright Sam Bobrick again demonstrates his keen eye for the hilarious in the mundane. This is a man who wrote two rock ‘n roll albums for Mad magazine and over 40 plays which have been performed all over the world – and continues his clever peek at the foibles of average folks to this day. The odyssey continues through Davenport, Iowa, and all the way to Los Angeles, all the while poking fun at the tropes surrounding life in different parts of this huge country.

Ross Benjamin and Bridget Flanery

NEW YORK WATER is fortunate to have two talented actors playing these two flawed human beings, a really hang-dog Ross Benjamin and a fangs-gleaming, on-her-private-broom Bridget Flanery. Two lonely people who are determined to make it work – provided, of course, that it fits into their crazy world view. Director Howard Teichman has helmed this play with an eye to milking every line for its comic content. If Ms. Flanery at times seems “over the top,” this only serves to highlight the essential differences between the two principals. Something that only Prozac, Lithium, and Xanax (and maybe a little glitz) can bring under control.

Ross Benjamin and Bridget Flanery

Set and video designer Kurtis Bedford fluidly moves around scene necessities, with each location requiring a very different ambiance. He is amply assisted by Ellen Monocroussos’ lighting and Bill Froggatt’s sound and video projection.

Bridget Flanery and Ross Benjamin

NEW YORK WATER offers lots of chuckles and outright guffaws as it traces an unlikely couple’s journey – both physical and emotional. This is a great play for a dating couple – or for singles who are hoping to someday become a couple. But don’t get me wrong. It’s also a really entertaining evening for anyone who has tried – and succeeded or failed – to form a relationship. How far will people go to find “the one?” And what will they do to hold onto that elusive discovery? NEW YORK WATER is all about connection – but also about the everyday events which make up a life – all the while presenting a rollicking play which crackles with truth.

NEW YORK WATER runs through December 17, 2017, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays. The Pico Playhouse is located at 10508 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064. Tickets are $40 ($35 for groups of 10+). For information and reservations, call 323-821-2449 or go online.

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