Picks up speed near finish line – NYPOST.com
MARATHON 2010: SERIES B Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 W. 52nd St.; 866-811-4111. Through June 19.
Only 10 of the 886 scripts Ensemble Studio Theatre received for this year’s one-act-play marathon made the cut. It’s a pity, then, that so many of those are underwhelming. “Marathon 2010: Series B,” like its predecessor, Series A, is highly uneven, with the best stuff coming after intermission.
The standout is “Amateurs,” by David Auburn (“Proof”), about the encounter between a political consultant and the grown daughter of a politician whose career she accuses him of ruining decades earlier.
M (David Rasche) is now retired and sitting pretty, working on memoirs for which he’s received a multimillion dollar advance. so whenW (Diana Ruppe) visits him, he’s gracious, happy to donate to the foundation she says she’s starting. Only when she accuses him of sexual misconduct does he go for the jugular.
Gerry Goodstein Kellie Overbey meets William Jackson Harper in a strip club in “They Float up.”
Although a little too reminiscent of David Mamet, the piece is very entertaining, thanks to the pungent dialogue and Rasche’s skill at conveying M’s mix of charm and ferocity.
Rachel Bonds’ “Anniversary” depicts the uneasy courtship between a kind young man (Jerry Richardson) and a lonely woman (Julie Fitzpatrick) still mourning the death of her lover. It’s a touching piece, but its effectiveness is undercut by a repetitive reciting of the anniversaries of the woman’s loss.
Of the others, Jacquelyn Reingold’s “They Float up,” about an aspiring stripper and troubled young man in post-Katrina New Orleans, packs too much onto its slender concept, while Laura Jacqmin’s “Airborne,” about a young female paratrooper who runs into trouble with her chute, is too stylized for its own good.
Luckily, Delphi Harrington’s entertaining turn as a post-stroke Bette Davis brings life to Laura Maria Censabella’s “Interviewing miss Davis,” in which the haughty actress meets an intimidated prospective assistant