A teacher is arrested for inappropriately touching a student. His wife and friends wonder who the man they thought they knew actually is; simultaneously, they discover gaps and misfires in their own relationships. Robert Tenges’ script is full of vulnerability, pain and love the couples struggle to maintain.
The ensemble’s appealing naturalism is perfect for the tiny space; each performer manages an intimate one-on-one with the audience. Andy Hager’s mellow record-store manager is awash in goofy gentleness; Elizabeth Bagby’s hard-driving wife arouses both distaste and sympathy in her attempts to break away. Amy Johnson and Kirsten D’Aurelio infuse their longtime friendship with an enviable sweetness and loyalty. Robert Koon and C. Sean Piereman both display a self-centered sleaziness.
Adam Webster’s direction peels away emotional layers as the show progresses and gives the piece a cool complexity, showing us that no one knows anyone really, not all that well. (Lisa Buscani)
the side project theatre company, 1439 West Jarvis, (773)973-2150. Through June 6.