City Paper is not for tourists
Atlas Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, July 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 23 at 9:15 p.m.
Friday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m.
They say: long-dis·tance re·la·tion·ship (noun)| a romantic relationship between two people who yearn endlessly for each other while apart, then argue over small things when together. see also: in love
Eva’s Take: Ben and Lucille were waiting for their relationship to end, but I wasn’t.
In a two-character show that is basically an hour-long conversation, I’ll admit that I was afraid of getting bored. But it’s hard to say which was stronger—playwright and co-star Elan Zafir’s writing or his performance.
The minute Zafir stepped on stage, he became addictive to watch, easing into his role in a way that made you forget he was playing one. The dialogue was witty, sure, but it was also real and even a little awkward, sounding spontaneous to feel like life.
While a couple of moments did feel stiff or implausible, overall, Zafir and his other half, Danielle Peterson, delivered the kind of authentic performance that caused one audience member to audibly—read: loudly—whisper to her boyfriend/spouse/partner, “They sound just like us!”
After the show, a friend and I grabbed a few margaritas and debated who we thought was more at fault.
“She’s a bitch,” my friend said.
“Well, she was right,” I said.
And that’s what Ben & Lucille leaves you with: the uncomfortable knowledge that it’s hard to place blame in a relationship. And just when you think there’s no way two people can survive what just happened, there they go—unbelievably, resolutely, hopefully—again.
See it if: You crave strong acting, believable dialogue, and a captivating narrative.
Skip it if: Skip it? Why would you do that?