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‘Any Given Monday’ proves to be an unforgettable, complex drama


By JULIE MCHALE - TimeOut Theater Critic

October 15, 2015

 
      

Photo by Ryan Blomquist

Tiersa Ferraro, left, and Leeanna Rubin in “Any Given Monday.”

AT A GLANCE
“Any Given Mondayl”

The drama runs through Oct. 25 at Tenth Street Theatre, in the lower level of the church on 10th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee. Call 414-271-1371 or visit www.intandemtheatre.org.

MILWAUKEE - On any given Monday night, there will probably be millions of men and some women watching “Monday Night Football.” That’s predictable. But, a play by the same name, now showing at the Tenth Street Theatre under the auspices of In Tandem Theatre Company, is anything but predictable.

The play is full of surprises, humor, complex characters, terrific acting and a clever, thought-provoking script.  It is on my “Best of 2015” list with more than two months to go.

An affair takes the spotlight, but the most intriguing parts of the drama are the moral dilemmas that follow and the relationships that are affected by these choices.

The play is structured with a mix of narration via daughter/college student Sarah and dramatized scenes with four characters - Lenny, a history teacher and the cuckolded husband; Mick, his wacky friend who works in the subway system; Lenny’s wife Risa, a wedding planner who has an affair with Frank, the rich real estate developer whom we never see; and their daughter Sarah, a philosophy major who spends most of her time mulling over moral issues.

Lenny and Risa are Jewish, but Sarah doesn’t buy into the system. Mick is Irish, a big-mouthed drinker, but a loyal friend of Lenny’s.

What transpires is sometimes very funny, yet quite dark and overall somewhat disturbing. We leave the theater not knowing what to think or how to really feel about what we have just witnessed. We only know that we have just had an entire course on ethics, human nature and how to deal with the problem of evil - an abiding presence in society and in each of us.

Doug Jarecki (Lenny), Todd Denning (Mick), Tiersa Ferraro (Risa) and Leeanna Rubin (Sarah) are all stunning in their roles. Mick is the only character who is not much changed by his choices, but Lenny’s family is forever changed by what has occurred.

What I especially liked about this production is that the playwright captured the essence of moral relativity and ambiguity, that there is no clear division between the good guys and the bad guys, that situations often dictate our responses, that we don’t know each other as well as we think we do, and that our behaviors are not always predictable, even to ourselves.

This show is recommended for adults or very mature teenagers only.

Kudos to director Chris Flieller and the fine cast for the unforgettable experience.