By Andrew Andrews

Michael (Ken Forman) frowns as Erin (Tara Westwood) rests her head on his shoulder while seated on the sofa in his mother’s dated apartment. Original photo by Leandro Badalotti.

As stories go, Reprise falls on the shorter side, clocking in at little more than an hour. But don’t let the running time fool you, folks: this is one hour of intense drama that pulls on your emotions like a rat dragging a piece of pizza. One minute you’ll be laughing at Leonard (Sean Patrick Folster), the Russian-immigrant playboy and self-professed “Vaginal Slayer” who scorns work in favor of living life—in the form of, for example, spending the day on a park bench not just eating a bagel but really eating a bagel. You’ll cringe at the wishy-washy protagonist, Michael (Ken Forman), the 40-year-old-virgin-type who continues to fawn over his best friend from high-school despite nothing ever really happening between them. And you’ll quickly hate Erin (Tara Westwood), said best friend, who returns to Michael’s mother’s house for a visit to toy with his emotions until he finally breaks—hate her until you start to wonder if maybe there’s a justifiable reason she behaves the way she does. And when the story finally becomes so uncomfortable that you want it to just end already, it does... only to leave you wishing there was more.

Everything about this play is perfect: not only the superb acting, but also the plot, dialog and pacing—all a credit to writer/director Eric Maierson. The set and costumes, thanks to Josh Iacovelli and Dustin Cross. Yes, even the running time, albeit short, is exactly what it should be, exactly what it needs to be! So stop by Paradise Factory Theater before June 11th, then come back here and tell us if you don’t completely agree. Because as Leonard says, “Trust me. I steer you up river correctly!”


Andrew Andrews attended REPRISE at Paradise Factory in Manhattan on Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 8:00pm to write this review.