February 3rd, 2019

Missed Opportunities by Jillian Leff

I went in with good expectations, but my wife was with me and she is a tougher critic than I am. Well, she was laughing from the beginning, always a good sign with a comedy!

I got to know Jillian Leff when she acted in a play of mine a couple of years ago. She was a talented performer onstage and a fun person to talk to offstage - full of witty-but-upbeat observations about contemporary life.

Now she's starring in a play of her own, put on by the Cuckoo's Theater Project Company. It's a romantic comedy of a modern, Millenial sort, involving a woman (Max) trying to attract the romantic attention of a man who thinks she's a lesbian. Of course, she could just tell him that she's not, right? But, no, for a variety of reasons she is reluctant to take the straightforward (ahem) approach, and instead embarks on a rather funny course of deception, which gets deeper and deeper, as deception does. You know the truth is going to spill or explode eventually, but the tension keeps building.

The acting was very funny. The set and lighting design was an elegant solution for a play that had a lot of scene changing. The sound design provided us with some amusing stuff when characters are working their electronic devices, including a voice-over so that we could eavesdrop on what our heroine was typing when she was writing her blog entries.

I have a minor complaint: I wish the actors had delivered their lines a little bit slower. Maybe I'm just old, but I know I was missing some funny jokes now and then! The repartee was crisp and new. As long as I'm mentioning my age, I should mention that the Den Theatre's third floor spaces are reachable only by stairs. Not a problem for me or my wife, but I know if could be an issue for some.

Jillian told me she has a couple more full-length plays in the works, which pleased me greatly, because it gives me more of her work to look forward to.

I enjoyed this opportunity
To laugh at some human lunacy!