What happens when your best friend becomes a celebrity ?
The Four of Us, Itamar Moses tale of the fallout from a power-imbalance on a long-time friendship sees the return of Noah Spitzer – creator/performer of the 2013 Fringe Fest success Second Smile – alongside Ellis Rockburn and the première of recently formed Toronto New Theatre on the Arts Court stage.
This comedic drama examining the impact of lopsided success opens over a celebratory meal where the coolly enigmatic Benjamin (Ellis Rockburn) reveals to eager struggling dramatist David (Spitzer) – with an ebullient touch of the Ed Grimley “I must say” – his upcoming worldwide book tour and 2million dollar advance on his first novel. David’s unbridled amazement at friend’s achievement shifts from congratulatory enthusiasm to tense and suspicious envy. From the very outset of this convivial catch-up cum awkward reassessment the storyline and actors had us. Ellis’ elegantly unruffled Benjamin plays perfectly agains the nervous and nakedly transparent character of Spitzer’s David.
In the second scene the friends find themselves in the glamorous apartment of an unnamed famous actor (off scene breaking it off with his equally famous girlfriend by phone). David marvels at the star-studded celebrities with whom his friend – oblivious and disinterested – now rubs shoulders. Awkward strains develop as Ben tries leverage contacts to provide an opportunity for his friend whilst eager and off-balance David is overwhelmed by the situation.
Progressive scenes flash back and forth in time establishing the roots of the friendship; the characteristics that drew them to one another and that now have begun to wear. The whirlwind present is neatly juxtaposed against the developing egos and personas of their younger selves. Comedy is blended seemlessly with difficult universally troubling questions. Scenes, past or present, are equally successful and an unexpected twist neatly leads to an unpredictable and fully satisfying conclusion.
A must see production that fully entertains and captivates. It’s in town for only two more nights so get out there and catch this very fine work.
The Four of Us
8Pm Friday 19 & Sat 20 Dec, 2013