Who knew a one-night stand could be so romantic?
As a theatergoer, I’m sadly unfamiliar with much of Neil LaBute’s work. I’ve seen and read a few of his works, but I’m not nearly as accustomed to the common themes that permeate many of his plays – at least not as much as other members in the audience of The Way We Get By, his new work playing at Second Stage Theater.
Starring Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski as two people facing the aftermath of a one-night stand, this 70 minute two hander manages to contain numerous shocks for the audience.
We first meet Doug (Sadoski) as he stumbles out of a bedroom, clearly wrought with conflict about whoever is still in there. She (Seyfried) quickly emerges, and an awkward discussion of what should happen next begins. It’s obvious the two of them have some kind of history and this isn’t the first time they’ve met. But what that history is this critic can’t reveal – or that would spoil the play.
Sadoski and Seyfried share a palpable chemistry, whether it’s arguing, roughhousing or kissing. Sadoski is a believable romantic leading man; his impassioned speeches to Seyfried about why they should be together are extremely moving. Seyfried, who makes her New York stage debut with this production, seems at ease onstage and has impeccable comedic timing and brings sympathy to her character who feel frustrated and constrained by both her beauty and her stiflingly prim and organized roommate.
Directed by Leigh Silverman, The Way We Get By is short and surprisingly sweet. And, even more surprisingly for a LaBute play – leaves one hopeful about romance.