Boy and girl see each other across a crowded room. They have fantastic (drunken) sex. Awkward conversation ensues the early morning after. Both seem to want to have sex again but then the boy becomes quite hesitant. More awkward conversation & then a big reveal. Does (and should) the one-night stand between Doug and Beth have a future?
Such is the story of The Way We Get By, the latest play by Neil LaBute to ponder the state of male/female relationships. As with many of his works there’s lots of talking, an examination of female physical beauty and what that means to men, and a snapshot of people in their late 20s/early 30s as they navigate adulthood. There are roommates and lovers from hell, fraught relations with parents and both witty and woeful repartee.
Both Thomas Sadoski as Doug and Amanda Seyfried (in her off-Broadway debut) as Beth are very good. I did feel that Sadoski has the stronger role as the man whose mouth and mind aren’t always in sync. And even though the show isn’t a long one, I found the wordiness started to get a little wearying. Playwrights – the audience gets your point – we don’t need to be told the same thing 10 different ways. But I didn’t feel like Beth did, trapped in an untenable situation. AFW
The Way We Get By – 2ndStage Theatre – 305 West 43rd Street
Ticket price: $59 – $125
Discounts: Theatermania, BroadwayBox and on the 2nd Stage website
Running time: 80 minutes, no intermission
Runs thru: June 21,2015