So The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is at it again. They are presenting another blistering drama, proving to me once again that off-Broadway is where it’s at for ‘real’ theater. Their new one, Little Doc, written by Dan Klores is a claustrophobic 90 minutes of a drug deal gone wrong between four childhood friends in 1970’s Brooklyn.
From what is basically two sets on one stage, built by the Tony award-winning set designer David Rockwell, the buff yet wiry Adam Driver as Ric and his father Weasel, played with smoky-voiced sadness by Steven Marcus, try very much to avoid the consequences of actions that will eventually bring the wrath of the neighborhood patron/bad guy Manny, played with snake-coiled intensity by the superb Dave Tawil. It is a big cast lumbering across this small stage, but of the three productions I’ve seen at Rattlestick they do a lot with their space; with a director like John Gould Rubin on this one, and Nicole Pearce lighting, all is perfect.
The remaining characters, who could have easily fall into simple parodies, are all brilliant and further a rather simple (but not simplistic) plot. Billy Tangradi’s tragic Lenny, Joanne Tucker as washed-out yet sexy Peggy, Tobias Segal’s twitchy, yet at times very comic Billy and the low-brow menacing Salvatore Inzerillo as the creepy Angelo, are all superb.
Little Doc runs from June 17-18, so get your ass down to 224 Waverly Place and see it. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.rattlestick.org