This is our youth by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Woody Harrelson, with Fabrizio Filippo, Marya Delver and Marcello Cabezas. Presented by macIDeas in association with Banack Awerbuck Productions at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley). Runs to October 18, Monday-Saturday 8 pm, matinees Wednesday and Saturday 2 pm. $20-$65. 416-368-3110. Rating: NN Rating: NN
There's lots to admire in Kenneth >Lonergan 's This Is Our Youth , but despite a few powerful monologues and a glimpse of the psychological insight he showed in his film script You Can Count On Me, the play feels embryonic: This Is Our Early Play. Set in 1982 in the Upper West Side apartment of Dennis ( Fabrizio Filippo , hopping around the stage with a recent foot injury), the play shows what happens when Dennis's sad sack friend Warren ( Marcello Cabezas ) bursts in with $15,000 he's stolen from his abusive father. The cash kick-starts a weekend of sex, drugs and retro rock 'n' roll that climaxes in maudlin revelations.
It's easy to understand why the actors ( Marya Delver plays the third, a love interest) and actor-turned-director Woody Harrelson were attracted to the piece. Lonergan's good with dialogue. And the script tries to show poor little rich kids mimicking their entrepreneurial parents in the Reagan years - a rich idea underdeveloped.
But it's hard to feel for any of the characters, whose histories feel as fake as the sitcom flourishes, the uneven, let's-be-19-again acting and over-the-top-physical horseplay.