Secrets and Guys

Spring awakenings lead to immature flashbacks

As befits its title, Never Tell is slathered in secret sauce. The characters are full to bursting with closely guarded information of origins sexual, criminal, and technological, and they're made jumpy and irritable by so many elephants milling about in one room. Mired in their uncertain late twenties, the central characters in James Christy's comic drama all get flashbacks to their 14-year-old selves in the first flush of sexual awakening, and it's clear that none of them have come very far since then: not Manny (Jason Schuchman), a nebbishy computer programmer who may have just invented a watershed algorithm; not his feckless cubicle-mate, Hoover (Mark Setlock); nor smug Chelsea gallery maven Will (Matthew Wilkas); nor Will's perpetually infuriated wife, Anne (Teresa L. Goding). They cheat, steal, deceive, and generally refuse to grow up, either acting out past traumas or breaking and entering into the future by venal or violent means.

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Never Tell
Michael Weller Theatre
311 West 43rd Street
212-352-3101

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Even if their performances sometimes seem outsize for such an intimate space, the actors (directed by Drew DeCorleto) are uniformly fine, though not well served by their schematic backstories or the annoying frat-rock song cues that accompany each scene change. And given the story's gnarled pileup of rape, lies, and art, plus a final bonus collision of Eros and Thanatos, too many bad memories are buried here for just one play to confess.

 
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