Friday, October 3, 2008

the night Carter was Bad. (59E59 Theatre)

BOTTTOM LINE: A modern tale of twenty-something relationship neuroses that’s well worth the price of admission.

Ben Cikanek’s new play, The Night Carter Was Bad, is the simple tale of Carter (Kurt Rodeghiero), a man approaching thirty, who is searching for his soul mate. Will the solution be found in his clingy emotional train wreck of a girlfriend Annie, played by Rachel Jordan Brown, the guarded and intriguing bohemian dancer Charlie, played to perfection by Ginny Myers Lee, or some yet to be seen third party that hopefully will complete his troubled soul? Carter faces the emotional battlefield of the quarter-life quest for happiness accompanied by his fabulous roommate Nathaniel (played aptly by Tom Baran) who tries desperately to help his friend find happiness. Carter braves the pitfalls of love (like how do you know when someone is truly the one?) and must own up to the consequences of a single indiscretion one night when he was “bad.” The ultimate question becomes if this one night will cripple his current relationship or define who he is to become in the future.

I thought it was very refreshing to see a play that dealt with the issues of late twenty-somethings with such humor and brevity. Even though I think that the play could have used some serious editing, I was never bored in the brisk hour and forty intermission-less minutes. I cared about the characters and was rooting for these emotionally shattered people to find happiness. Ginny Myers Lee gives a riveting and complex betrayal of a modern woman who is struggling to find herself in her career and relationships. Tom Baran is also wonderful as the gay roommate/confidant who further complicates Charlie and Carter’s path to happiness.

The tiny space at 59E59 Theatres offers an extremely intimate night of theatre that provides some very insightful moments toward the human condition: the reason that we fear commitment is not that we are afraid of love, but that we are afraid of mediocrity. If you are looking for a fun, somewhat thought-provoking night at the theatre, go see The Night that Carter Was Bad. It’s well worth the low ticket prices and then you can stay for the two-for-one drink specials at the theatre’s bar after the show!

(The Night Carter Was Bad plays at 59E59 Theatres, 59 East 59th Street, until October 18th. Show times are Tues. through Sat. at 8:30pm and Sundays at 3:30pm. Tickets are $18 ($10 on Wednesdays) and can be purchased at or by calling 212.279.4200. Visit for more information.)

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