Sex, drugs and… playwriting. In an appropriately cramped and seedy hotel room in Amsterdam, two college friends—successful publisher Davis (Dereck Garner) and struggling playwright Matt (Dan Behrendt)—meet the mysterious Christina (Sasha Gioppo), a charming prostitute with a surprising background. Adam Rapp’s language, sharp and realistic (if a bit overly intellectual), is well-paced by director Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, with the rapid-fire dialogue counterbalancing the lengthy sections of introspective silence that give the show its weight. Despite the failings of the script—a fresh, urgent first act gives way to an overly reflective, self-referential second act that folds under the weight of a love triangle that strains credulity—the cast breathes life into even the biggest plot holes and unnecessarily explanatory discussions. Garner imbues an unexpected level of charm into a grown-up, antagonistic frat-boy type, Behrendt carefully combines cynicism and naivete to create a believably depressed man-child, and Gioppo delivers a physically uninhibited and emotionally raw performance. (Zach Freeman)
Mary-Arrchie Theatre, 735 West Sheridan, (773)871-0442. $18-$22. Through December 18.