Jon Elston’s Elliptical, the highlight of Scott Behrend’s concept production, Triangles, is now playing at the Road Less Traveled Theater in Buffalo’s theatre district.
Elliptical is a fast-paced journey thorough the lives of three twenty-something friends who began their relationship in high school.
The dynamic, ever-reconfiguring friendship between Ches (Todd Benzin), Michelle (Bonnie Jean Taylor) and Camille (Kelly Meg Brennan) begins during high school drama club. Here the awkward Ches has finally found his home away from the jocks and popular kids. Lifelong friends Michelle and Camille compete for roles and boys, with Camille the usual victor.
The relationship takes unexpected twists and turns over the years that are alternatively intriguing, funny and cringe-worthy.
Triangle opens with the haunting guitar chords of Buffalo’s local musician, Alan Kryszak from behind the dark scrim. The actors enter through three triangular openings recite a series of monologues that tie the trilogy together. This triangle theme is repeated throughout the show.
The first one act play is The Stronger by August Strindberg set in the late nineteenth century. Lisa Virtanen plays Madame X, who alternately harangues and cajoles Madame Y (Kristen Tripp-Kelley) who remains stubbornly silent. Madame Y boasts about winning her husband away from X, but who has struck a better bargain?
Emanuel Fried’s Triangle follows, a fifties era piece with Tripp-Kelley as Mary Ann, the other woman, and Vitrano as Jackie, the long-suffering wife. Mary Ann tries to convince the wife she should give over her husband and return to New York. Like Tripp-Kelley in the previous sketch, Vitrano frequently says more with stony glares and rolling eyes than her pacing co-star does with rambling monologues.
In both plays the third character is the conspicuously absent husband.
Jon Elston’s contemporary Elliptical closes the trilogy.
The grouping of the three plays was the brainchild of Director, Scott Behrend. According to Elston, “Scott gets the credit for conceiving of the trilogy. Manny wrote Triangle as a response to The Stronger, and Scott suggested a third, modern piece to give the evening its third angle.”
The show continues through December 7th. See www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org or call (716) 683-1260 for more information.