Posted in couples, dark comedy drama, David Schwimmer, Detroit, funny-sad, John Cullum, Lisa D'Amour, neighbors

Just Being Neighborly in "Detroit"

Neighbors used to be more than just the folks who live next door. They were the people with whom we shared a community, a way of life, a neighborhood.

As Lisa D’Amour’s “Detroit,” at Playwrights Horizons through October 28th, begins, the welcome mat is extended in that old-fashioned neighborly way.

John Cullum in “Detroit” in a photo by Jeremy Daniel. 

Ben (David Schwimmer) and Mary (Amy Ryan) invite the young couple who’ve moved in next door for a barbeque. Thanks to the friendship they develop with Ken (Darren Pettie) and Sharon (Sarah Sokolovic), their lives seem a little less lonely. Suburbia is an isolating environment, and the one we visit in “Detroit,” thanks to the inspired set designs by Louisa Thompson, is nearly desolate.

Sarah Sokolovic, Darren Pettie, Amy Ryan  & David Schwimmer in a scene from “Detroit.” Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Ken and Sharon are open about their lives and their addictions.  Ben, recently laid off, is building a website for the business he wants to start. Sharon works in a call center. The couples engage with each other, sharing their life stories as neighbors do, over the next several months.

But there is a dark side to each of them. Darren Pettie is especially creepy showing off his while Amy Ryan’s Mary is so fragile that she can barely open the sliding door to the porch.  John Cullum’s Frank comes in like a “deus ex machina” to tie up the loose ends for us, but by then, the damage has been done.

Photo by Jeremy Daniel.  Darren Pettie, Amy Ryan, David Schwimmer & Sarah Sokolovic.

The writing in “Detroit” is natural. The acting is uniformly excellent. Bring some chips, and join the party.

For more information about “Detroit,” visit http://www.playwrightshorizons.org/now_playing.html.