06/01/2015 04:04 pm ET | Updated May 30, 2016

The Way We Get By


Neil La Bute, one of my favorite American playwrights, has done something unique to his brand of well-established playwriting genre; that is of the darkly cynical variety. The Way We Get By is a good play with an important conundrum (which I won't ruin for you), with a positive and hopeful ending, (that much I will ruin for you). It actually feels good in our ever wary world to see that problems, no matter how challenging, can be worked out and realized without the usual, "Maybe I should have slit my wrists long ago," attitudes of characters with complex lives. After all, everything is complex these days.

Directed by Leigh Silverman, on a set designed by Neil Patel, the apparition of roommate Kim, is a ubiquitous presence seen only by the offensively predictable furniture and accessories straight from a popular online retailer, perfectly set up and manicured like a control freak would have it. Thomas Sadoski (Doug) and Amanda Seyfried (Beth) have spent the night together canoodling, but as the story evolves, something is bothering both of them so much, that Doug is constantly checking in with himself and Beth seems to be in a constant state of suspicion, due in part, by her experience with men being fickle and fragile.

The story could be told in a shorter period than its 70 minutes, since brief moments are a bit tiresome and repetitive. I sat guessing what could be the problem between these 2 anxious human beings; lovely Amanda Seyfried, though pushing a little too hard in the beginning of her theater debut, was compellingly, while Thomas Sadoski, a well-seasoned performer, although a bit over the top throughout, seemed evenly hysterical; sometimes finding moments when his character took control, which were the most believable and attractive of his performance, nuanced by excellent comic charm.

At 2econd Stage Theatre