Posted in "Poor Behavior, ' Brain Avers, Evan Cabnet. Lauren Halpern, Heidi Armbruster, Jeff Biehl, Katie Kreisler, Theresa Rebeck

"Poor Behavior" –it’s very good!

Marriage can be a very fragile alliance.

Katie Kreisler and Brian Avers in Theresa Rebeck’s “Poor Behavior”
at Primary Stages through Sep 7.  Photo (c) 2014 James Leynse

In “Poor Behavior,” at Primary Stages at The Duke through Sept 7th, Theresa Rebeck explores/exposes two couples at the most tenuous point in their clearly wobbly relationships. 

Heidi Armbruster and Brian Avers in
“Poor Behavior.” Photo
(c) 2014 James Leynse

Ian (Brian Avers) and Maureen (Heidi Armbruster) are spending an ill-advised country weekend with their friends, Peter (Jeff Biehl) and Ella (Katie Kreisler). The first evening begins with a drunken argument between Ella and Ian over morality. His Irish sensibility is aroused by even the suggestion that things can be deemed good or bad, but it is evident that only he and Ella relish the fight. As their respective spouses head off to bed, Ian and Ella share an innocent tender moment, caught by the ever-hysterical Maureen.

Jeff Biehl in “Poor Behavior.” Photo (c) 2014 James Leynse

The actors, guided by Evan Cabnet’s excellent direction, are wonderful. The play, a brilliant work in the Rebeck oeuvre, is at once funny and distressing. Watching things devolve is agonizing and delightful. The dialogue in “Poor Behavior” is sharp, quick and witty. Lauren Halpern has designed an admirable country house, just cramped and uncomfortable enough to echo the proceedings of the script.

“Poor Behavior” is an entirely satisfying experience.

To learn more about Theresa Rebeck’s “Poor Behavior” and Primary Stages, visit