Colt Coeur at the DR2 Theater in NYC

Written by:
Nella Vera
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With “Still,” Colt Coeur, the Brooklyn based theater collective, brings its newest production to Manhattan’s DR2 Theater.  A two-hander, written by Lia Romeo and directed by the company’s Founding Artistic Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt, the play features Jayne Atkinson and Tim Daly as two old lovers who reunite for a drink (and more) after decades of not being in touch. 

Mark is undergoing some life changes – recently divorced and contemplating life after retirement, he is on the East Coast on business and excited to reconnect with someone he has never really forgotten. Helen is a best-selling author; she has never married nor had children and has led a happily independent life – a stark contrast to what Mark describes as his pleasant, yet somewhat uninspired suburban existence. 

As the evening progresses, it’s clear that the spark is still there and the two end up in his hotel room. A highlight of “Still” is a charming and age-appropriate seduction scene where the two playfully acknowledge the various ailments of their 60-something bodies. Like with most of the other elements in the play, the writing is thoughtfully crafted for a mature audience. The rhythm of the banter, the careful yet pointed flirting, and the topics of conversation all delighted the audience who saw themselves reflected.

Tim Daly and Jayne Atkinson. Photo by Joey Moro.

It is not always the case that a playwright has enough confidence to speak so deliberately to her audience and Ms. Romeo’s play, while accessible to all ages, is potent and deeply relevant to those of us who have navigated through various phases of life. A lean eighty-five minutes, she avoids overwriting but provides just enough material to give these two sensational actors plenty to work with.  Atkinson and Daly are beautifully in tune with each other – their early chatter is delightful and shows the natural rapport of two people who have a long history with each other.

The play may be short but for master actors like these, it’s just enough time to create characters that are well-developed and have a naturalism about them that makes you feel like you are eavesdropping on a real conversation in a high-end bar. While the main conflict of the play hinges on a difference of opinion on a contemporary topic, it is a testament to both performers that they can navigate the narrative well enough that the audience finds it challenging to take a side, even though one might seem obvious at first. The two play these roles out with all the complexity, contradictions, and intricate nuance inherent in the human experience. They deliver stellar performances aided by expert direction from Campbell-Holt (who knows when less is more) and a superb Broadway-worthy set by Alexander Woodward.

“Still” continues at the DR2 Theater until May 23.

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