Darren Pettie is a likeable Tom, an earnest fellow who feels more alive at age forty-two than he did at twenty-four. Heather Burns offers a decent, though sometimes flat, performance as Beth, a wannabe artist whose own sense of self is never fully achieved. Directed by Pam MacKinnon, this production is familiar in all the right ways that marital drama is know to be, but at the same time, unsettling in it’s commonality.
Why does it bother us that Tom and Beth don’t work out? And why are we cheering for Gabe and Karen to stick it out? Common wisdom tells us that we should simply let individuals pursue whatever path will lead to their own happiness and satisfaction. But the allure of fidelity offers itself as the possible antidote to all that loneliness that Tom tries so desperately to escape. Dinner with Friends reveals that while marriage is not always a feast, it still is something can be savored throughout its various courses.
Dinner with Friends is playing a limited run through April 13, 2014 at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Directed by Pam MacKinnon and starring Jeremy Shamos, Marin Hinkle, Darren Pettie, and Heather Burns.
Christopher Whiteis the Director of Education and Programs for the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, author of Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops is Revitalizing the Catholic Church, and theatre critic for Aleteia. He is the 2013-2014 Robert Novak Fellowship Award Winner and writes frequently on matters of bioethics, public policy, and theatre. He lives in New York City.