It Is Done @The Mean Fiddler Bar Through December 5th
Striving to be original in an unusual theatre setting, It is Done, by Alex Goldberg, lacks intensity and the drive it needs to push the play forward. The setting takes place in a bar, as does the theatre itself, which made the play feel slightly authentic. Haunted by the crime he had committed as a young boy, Jonas’s pact with the supernatural becomes real when Ruby enters the scene. There was a bit of uncertainty at first as the play appears to be about two drifters who meet. With much banter and a few wise cracks I began to struggle with the plotline because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Since Jonas resisted telling Hank the bartender the details of his life’s story, I expected the same counteraction, if not more, between Jonas and Ruby. However, I felt when Jonas confessed to Ruby, there was very little resistance in his answers to her constant questioning. It felt too easy. The twist in the end didn’t make the conflict anymore convincing. The play could’ve taken a different approach but instead chose to go the easy route. The play attempts to raise the bar which made the show feel it was trying to be something it wasn’t.
The performances were equally troubling as they did not help push the plot in the direction I would’ve hoped it would go in. Cait Ojeda’s (Ruby) sassiness is known from the beginning and plays the alpha female as smug. Though I understand her character, there wasn’t enough range of emotions or characteristics portrayed on stage. Though she is the central female, she doesn’t show the full complexity of the character. There’s a balance between being a powerful female and being convincing while being powerful. Ean Sheehy (Jonas) was vulnerable, too safe, and one note. He doesn’t let himself fully become the character, and, therefore, doesn’t push the character in the way that his anger and fear is believable. Matt Kalman (Hank) was preferable of the three actors. Though his comedic timing was on point, his character made me wonder what his purpose was. The driving force in this show was the direction by Tom Wujtunik. He uses the space to its utmost advantage and is able to create a mood.
The play left me with a few unanswered questions. I understand sometimes life’s lesson has its consequences, but there isn’t a need to have the message feel repetitious. In what is supposed to be a thriller felt more of a dark comedy that tries to get the message through your hard head but doesn’t quite make a dent.
It Is Done runs through December 5th at The Mean Fiddler. For more information, please visit www.itisdonetheplay.com.