Off Broadway Reviews
Buddy Thomas' The Crumple Zone is a gay play about five guys having something less than a gay old time as they proceed through the very funny wild ride of their Christmas holiday. Boy loves boy who loves other boy who loves other boy etc. This makes for plenty of action in their chintzy little apartment on Staten Island. With a broad combination of slapstick, farce and a touch of pathos this play comes together to make a very entertaining evening.
Mario Cantone, a stand-up comedian in his own right, brings his special brand of energy to the show. His character moans that he is only " a supporting actor in his own life," but to the audience he most definitely assumes center stage. As Terry, an actor/dancer wannabe, who for all intensive purposes is a waiter, pleads, screams and fights to keep his best friend's love relationship intact. Of course, he has his own life to contend with including a hilarious encounter with a traditionally married man (Steve Mateo), whom he met on the Staten Island ferry (where else).
Director Jason Moore keeps this play moving at a slightly frenetic pace. Until the very last scene, there is hardly a moment for the audience to catch its breath. For those who like to go to the theater for a little nap this show is not for you. If the sheer force of Mario Cantone's performance doesn't keep you awake the resolution of the love triangle will. Does Alex (Josh Bitton) stay with absent lover of 4 years Matt (Paul Pecorino) or will he move in with new lover Buck (Gerald Downey)? You'll have to see the show to find out. Who would have thought there was so much action in boring old Staten Island.
The wrap up philosophy for this show is: when a relationship crashes, "pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again". Probably good sense for everyone, gay or not. If only it were so easy.
The Crumple Zone