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Theatre Review: Romantic Trapezoid In Three Scenes Into Commitment Struggles

Written by Victor L. Cahn and directed by Alberto Bonilla, Romantic Trapezoid is a brisk look into commitment issues. When Melissa (played by the Elizabeth Ingrham) and Dave (played nerdy by Zack Calhoon) confront each other about bringing their relationships to the next level, marriage, honest dialogues occur or, rather, word-plays. We all danced around commitment, but every relationships hits a point where the dance must stop, and a stand must be made, a la Romantic Trapezoid. 

Romantic Trapezoid is divided into three scenes that take place in the beautifully crisp set/ apartment by designer Shelley Liu. It is there that Dave and Melissa’s ensue an argument as to whether their personal freedoms and joys would be stripped by an “official” coupling. It is a valid, common worry that every relationship has wondered as it progressed from fun to more serious. The dialogue between Dave and Melissa can struggle if not taken by the right perspective, which is why I elaborate that Romantic Trapezoid’s premise is rather simple and quick; a couple is struggling to make themselves monogamous FOREVER! Thus, at times, you will laugh and relate to their bond, while, in others, you might say, “Next!”. Yet, what onlooker has not pushed and pulled for a “shipping” relationship. Still, the play, along with their relationship, is revived by the marvelous and quirky Beth. 

Joy Donze as Beth is vibrant, funny, and refreshing. From the minute she enters scene 2, you look to say, “Who is this?”. She is so outlandish, but grounded enough to not come off as “kitschy”, which is a testament to Donze’s acting talents. There is a clear, “Legally Blonde” vibe to Beth that, as her scene progresses becomes frothed with ambition, intelligence, and a sense that she can do better than Melissa and Dave’s lover quarrels. While Ingrham radiates sophistication and Calhoon plays into the quirky dynamics of a brilliant, slightly manipulative guy, Donze’s Beth comes with a surprising amount of depth considering, at first sight, you will assume plums have more seeds for thought. Moreover, the character proves Cahn’s script can smartly veer from the classic, romantic tropes it musters, i.e. a humorous Ava Gardener/ Humprhey Bogart-esque impression by both protagonists. While Cahn uses jealousy as a “humorous” method to ignite a woman’s epiphany that “she should want her man”, it could have fallen into gimmicky had it not been for Donze/ Beth’s charm. All in all, the play is quick “pick me up” for anyone for anyone that wants to see a pair fall and rise again to realize that, indeed, they are a dynamic duo. 

Click Here For More Information On Romantic Trapezoid. It is 90 minutes without intermission. Located: 

Theatre Row – The Lion Theatre

410 West 42nd Street

Between 9th and 10th Avenues

New York NY 10036