By MADDIE LEMELINL
This past weekend, the newest production from the University of Mary Washington theatre department premiered in Klein Theatre to packed crowds. “The Drunken City” combined many relatable themes such as love, sexuality and alcohol in a captivating performance. The plot started out with three best friends out for a night in the city for a bachelorette party.
The tipsy trio unexpectedly meet up with the very heartbroken and very drunk Frank, played by junior Josh Bartosch, and his friend Eddie, played by senior Austin Bouchard.
Much to everyone else’s dismay, Marnie, the bride played by Kat Zeringue, and Frank spark up a romantic connection. The affair drives Melissa (sophomore Megan Khaziran) to recruit the help of Bob (junior Ford Torney), the employer and very close friend of the three. When Marnie and Frank run off, all hell breaks loose as the four other characters go in search of them.
At the beginning of the play, the theatre was filled with the song “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift, which created the assumption it would be a romantic-comedy-type of account of a girls night out.
However, as the play went on, the plot proved to be much more important than that. “The Drunken City” warns that the idea of marriage and being in love is enticing. So much so, that people go through with relationships and marriages they are not happy with just for the sake of the beautiful wedding, or out of the fear of being alone. It also shows how relationships can be tricky, and finding ‘the one’ takes a lot of care and consideration.
The characters’ romantic backgrounds gave the audience various scenarios to relate to. From getting over a cheating ex-lover to having hope for love in the future, the actors wonderfully displayed the roller coaster of emotions that accompany heartbreak. In addition, the actors also carried the audience through devastating situations with a comedic touch. The vulnerability expressed from the characters mixed with alcoholic humor gave the show a realistic touch.
The aftereffects of the characters’ actions during their night out are just as awkward as they need to be, giving the play the perfect amount of closure.
But heartbreak isn’t the only thing “The Drunken City” offers. It also portrays the excitement that comes with finding new love. Bob and Eddie share a heartfelt exchange during the chaos, in which they discuss why failed relationships in the past are no cause to give up on love for the future. After they realize this connection, Bob and Eddie begin a relationship, representing the idea that opening oneself to someone might be intimidating but can prove to be worth it in the end.
The actors and plot are not the only thing that makes “The Drunken City” a successful production. The set design is perfectly understated and a wonderful representation of the city. The sound effects and lighting were great emphasis on the ideas of the play. The deep purple lights and movement of the stage serves as a moral warning because they appear whenever characters are doing something ethically wrong.
“The Drunken City” is a play that everyone can enjoy no matter what kind of romantic situation they may be involved in.