Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
The New Group
The Pershing Square Signature Center
March 7, 2019
|Photo courtesy of The New Group|
The New Group production of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is a nostalgic throwback to the time of free love and sexual liberation. Jonathan Marc Sherman’s book explores the four title characters from the Columbia motion picture. Duncan Sheik’s music captures the time period and surrounds the audience in a sublime and tranquil atmosphere. Lyrics by Duncan Sheik and Amanda Green are a perfect balance intellectual and quirky.
When Bob (played by Joél Pérez) and his wife Carol (played by Jennifer Damiano) attend a therapeutic encounter weekend, they return fully in touch with their feelings. Carol’s enlightenment becomes evident when Bob admits that he cheated on her and she does not feel jealous. She in turn explores her sexual freedom by playing around with a tennis pro. Their friends, Ted (played by Michael Zegen) and Alice (played by Ana Nogueira), find Bob and Carol’s sexual awakening a little startling. Carol is very uptight, and Ted doesn’t push. When Ted goes out of town for a convention, he follows Bob’s example and cheats on Alice. She retaliates by suggesting the two couples sleep together. This creates a surprising turnaround for all four of them.
|Jennifer Damian, Joél Pérez, Ana Nogueira, & Michael Zegen|
Photo courtesy of The New Group
Joél Pérez and Jennifer Damiano play the groovy, hip Bob and Carol with a flawless tongue-in-cheek humor. Their timing is smooth and their connection is truthful. Ana Nogueira is sharp and witty as Alice. She and Michael Zegen play off one another very well. The bickering between their characters is humorous, while their bond is genuine and strong. Suzanne Vega plays the character of the Band Leader, transitioning the action with subtle humor and stylistic vocals.
Scenic design by Derek McLane and costumes by Jeff Mahshie beautifully evoke the time period. Director Scott Elliott pulls together every detail, creating genuine moments in this highly stylized environment. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is playing at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 22.