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Time Out Theater Review: "Really Really"

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Actor Zosia Mamet from the HBO series "Girls" is currently starring in the new off-Broadway play "Really Really." Time Out New York contributing critic David Cote filed the following report.

I don't envy the college student about to graduate with this lousy economy. Unless they come from money, it's going to be a bitter struggle. But if you are young playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo, you can write a cynical portrait of your amoral peers, with oodles of sex and lies, and hope for a hit. MCC Theater's "Really Really" is a shallow, manipulative tale of millennials behaving badly.

There are no heroes in this campus-set college drama, which turns on the question of whether scholarship student Leigh was date-raped by hunky Davis. Everyone's callow, selfish or just ineffectual. And that's okay. In principle, you can fill a play with fools or jerks and still make it interesting.

There's a difference, though, between a lively rogue's gallery and a smug exposé such as "Really Really," where the author’s distaste for his craven creations is palpable.

As Leigh, who comes from a poor background and clearly aims for social advancement, Zosia Mamet has an intriguing mix of bland and chilling, but her character is underwritten. Matt Lauria's jock is overly affable.

The other characters have a stock quality: rich kid, closet lesbian, nerd. They're more chess pieces than flesh-and-blood agents. By the time we get to the flatly sour finale, it's gratuitous sexual violence, as the plot crumples under the weight of its contrivances. This is the sort of world where one articulate, good-humored character would blow the house of cards down.

Although the play is thin, Colaizzo can turn out sharp comic dialogue, while director David Cromer and crackerjack designers work overtime to hide structural flaws and create the illusion of psychological depth. It's like a promising but callow student's final were ghostwritten by a tenured professor. For something in exchange, of course. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP