THE ROOMMATE presented by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Oct. 21. Click here for a synopsis and more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park kicks off its Shelterhouse Theatre season with the two-woman dark comedy, THE ROOMMATE. Described as a “The Odd Couple meets Breaking Bad”, the Playhouse’s production seems to lean more toward to the former at the expense of the latter.
The humor of the first half of the performance relies heavily on the old city mouse vs. country mouse stereotypes. While the script does generate some good laughs, it doesn’t really cover any new territory. It also, for me at least, tends to skew the time period of the show a bit older than present day.
As Iowan divorcee Sharon, Margaret Daly handles the comedy of the role well. But as her character begins to explore the darker side of her personality, it seemed to be something that Sharon was more playing at then truly embracing.
Mary Jo Mecca’s portrayal of Robyn doesn’t have the edge to her personality that I would expect from a Brooklyn native. I understand the idea of pulling back a bit to give a good impression for her fresh start, but there is a lackadaisical quality to the character that doesn’t quite ring true to me.
Since the characters don’t quite work individual, their relationship doesn’t seem to evolve too much as the story jumps forward in time. For me, this lessens the impact of the final scene.
Overall, on opening night, this production of THE ROOMMATE doesn’t have the bite it needs to meet the demands of the script.
My rating: 4 out of 5.
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