A couple moves into a spacious apartment - the envy of family and friends. Or it would be the envy of everyone, if anyone comes to visit. Because the apartment is in a just-about to gentrify neighborhood and nobody is coming by. If they would somebody would have to run downstairs to let them in, as The Buzzer serves as a metaphor for everything that is broken in the apartment and in the couple’s relationship.
Jackson is a successful black attorney who grew up in this neighborhood and is proud to be able to get in on the proverbial ground floor of real estate development. His girlfriend Suzy is white and a dedicated teacher. The wild card is Jackson’s best friend Don, a recovering addict who is also white but spent a great deal of time with Jackson’s family and eased Jackson’s entry into the world of private schools and privilege. There are secrets between the three of them and you know from the get-go that this temporary living situation is going to end badly.
All three actors were strong, particularly Grantham Coleman’s Jackson who straddles his past and what he hopes is his future. But I found the plot to be “Drama of the Week” like and formulaic. While in the recent “Disgraced” the audience viscerally feels how we bring our baggage and prejudices to relationships, The Buzzer doesn’t pack the same punch. AFW
The Buzzer The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street
Ticket prices: $55-$65
Runs thru: 4/26
Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission