The Pulitzer prize winning play by David Margulies, Dinner with Friends spotlights two couples who are longtime friends. Gabe and Karen watch as the couple they fixed up long ago, Tom and Beth, come to the end of their marriage. Because of this, Gabe and Karen worry about their own marriage, wondering if they are doomed to the same fate. Dinner with Friends is witty and clever, thought-provoking, if disappointing, relationship play. It would be even more thought-provoking if both couples were shown equally. As it is, the play shows more of the depth of the relationship of Gabe and Karen, and little of the relationship of Tom and Beth. We see Tom and Beth as individuals, before and after their marriage, but we never see them as a couple and only know of their married relationship from each party's bitter post-breakup reports, hardly an objective view.
The Public production is nicely done, with a serviceable set by Bill Clarke (including the currently ubiquitous "sky and clouds" painted cyclorama). A nice touch is the incidental music provided by composer Gregory D. Sendler.
Dinner with Friends runs at the O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave, through April 14. Performances are Tuesday - Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on March 30, April 6 and 13. Tickets range from $21-43. Full-time students or anyone 26 and under, with valid ID, may purchase advance tickets for $10 (available at door for Friday and Saturday evening performances). For tickets and further information, call (412) 316-1600 or visit the Public's Box Office at the O'Reilly Theater, or visit www.ppt.org.
Dinner with Friends
Photo: Suellen Fitzsimmons