Our Mutual Friends

Melissa James Gibson’s [sic]: Fuerchtenünabwendbarfreundlich
photo: Jay Muhlin
Melissa James Gibson’s [sic]: Fuerchtenünabwendbarfreundlich


By Melissa James Gibson
Soho Rep
46 Walker Street

Speaking In Tongues
By Andrew Bovell
Gramercy Theatre
127 East 23rd Street

Speaking in Tongues does offer flashes of inflammatory insight—like John Patrick Shanley's Where's My Money?, it posits that miserable husbands and wives often stay together simply via resentful defiance of the other's cellar-dwelling expectations. Richard Hoover's sparse sets emanate a numbing department-store chill, while Brian MacDevitt's lighting evokes a perpetual nighttime of the soul. Slump-shouldered Anderson and brittle, defensive Colin add nuanced pathos to their thinly drawn outlines of early-middle-aged disillusionment, but Allen and Gill reduce their characters to an exhausting flurry of gesticulations. Indeed, the relentless game of connect-the-dots grows befogging well before Speaking in Tongues pulls a post-intermission quick change, and it's doubly frustrating that a play so obsessed with tying together disparate threads would leave so many of them hanging.

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