Another play about men. What an overdone topic, right? But no, apparently there’s still more left to be said about them, and how they interact with each other, and how -— without the presence of a woman in their lives — they will remain absolutely disgusting until they implode with their own failures. Not depressing and annoying enough yet? Then We Got Lucky might be the play for you. This new production will take two hours out of an audience member’s life only to say that the world is an awful place filled with average and common people.
On paper, director Allen C. Gardner’s new show is an interesting attempt at a bromance. It’s set in a living room that never changes over the course of 10 years. In the living room, the play tracks the lives of Aaron and Brad, two young men who meet by accident over dinner with their girlfriends and end up living together. As the years go by, they become more and more inseparable, as well as more and more obnoxious.
The storyline is bland and cliched, the ultimate tale of a semi-dysfunctional brotherhood. The fact that the men living together are pigs in both the moral and physical sense, until a woman comes along, doesn’t help either of their cases. Nor does that endear them to the audience — sure, for half of a scene Aaron starts to live like a human being when he dates a girl, but then he ruins it because he can’t handle something in his life being clean for once. It’s discouraging to see — not because one might feel any sort of emotion for the characters, but because one starts to realize the horrible implications of what society would look like were men to actually behave this way.
No one could possibly predict where the show is going to end. Please read that with the deepest and most sincere sarcasm: the play actually drags on until it finally, inevitably finishes. One’s attention drifts between vague interest and insipid boredom until eventually it just moves to a sincere desire for the final curtain to fall. Unfortunately, by the fourth near-ending (and since it’s not Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the show really has no right to do that), the audience has gone from vaguely interested to looking at their watches waiting for curtain call so they can leave the theater and resume their lives.
The biggest problem with We Got Lucky is that, though the play has a few golden moments in the name of brotherhood, both characters are so irritatingly unlikable that it is impossible to feel the least bit of sympathy for either of them. Brad’s face — fixed in a constant state of sad or awkward — along with his demeanor stays exactly the same as the play drags on through 10 long years, making it harder and harder to sympathize with him. Aaron, though he does change, is initially so unpleasant that his change is not nearly enough to make up for his failings. He goes from a party boy to a coke-headed party boy to a party boy with a stable job. That’s progress, right? He is a bully, one who should be constantly slapped in the face for the duration of the entire show. The fact that Brad won’t do so becomes increasingly tiresome.
Still, We Got Lucky is not a complete failure; there are a few sweet drunken lines exchanged between the main characters, such as, “There are good ships and wood ships and ships that sail, and sh-t, but the best ships are friendships, and may they always be!” or, “Sex on the beach ends on the beach.” These humorous moments, along with a talented cast of minor characters, might put a sporadic smile on an audience member’s face if one is still paying attention, bringing the play up to solidly mediocre.
On the whole, We Got Lucky suffers from the severe lack of development and intelligence of the main characters. It’s hard to root for a set of protagonists who are so obviously incapable of dealing with their own lives. Still, the show does have moments that can be appreciated by the insanely disciplined human beings who can sit for long periods of time in small dark theaters without needing a breath of fresh air.
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