|Hadley Durkee and Joseph Basquill - Photo Austin Martinez|
by Joe Straw
The Zephyr Theatre is a favorite of mine. It is an intimate house of 74 seats. This is a very intimate stage, an intimate evening, and with a packed crowd watching.
Get It Together written and directed by Michael Quinn is now playing at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose through August 7th, 2022. A one-week run just seems impossible to comprehend.
Get It Together is a beautiful play about two lonely souls trying to make a go in any relationship but particularly this one. Michael Quinn has written a dramatic comedy that surrounds the senses with so much unbearable truth that one feels for both characters on their incredible journey through a few years in their lives.
Harold (Joseph Basquill), a future computer science professional, and Mary (Hadley Durkee) find themselves alone in a spare bedroom on a Philadelphia house party. They haven’t seen each other since they were in high school. Mary was a freshman while he was a senior.
Harold is casually dress in a white pullover, rust colored pants and tan boots. A few of his fingers have tattoos on them as though he has been through a few things. Mary is dressed in translucent patterned shirt, black jeans, and black boots with black matching fingernails. Both are dressed in very casual but attractive party attire.
Their relationship would have been cemented in high school if only Harold would have texted her but he was involved with another woman at the exact moment he thought about texting her and then he didn’t do it.
What happened to the other woman?
“That didn’t work out. I guess I’ll find someone uglier.” – Harold
That was a nice little moment for the pretty women standing uncomfortably before him and wanting to get to know him a little better before committing to anything that would be beyond her control, his control, their control.
So, they take it slowly. Harold wants to know more about Mary, about her interests, and her education in college. Mary tells Harold that she is a poet and Harold immediately wants to hear some of her work.
She recites a poem about a cadaver, something she is remotely familiar with before Harold asks her if she smokes. Harold pulls out a red pipe, some content, and starts to light up.
“I know, it looks like a dick.” – Harold
She is hesitant, somewhat afraid that she’ll get into trouble and she asks him if he’s gotten into trouble. He tells her that he got arrested for a parking ticket. Small stuff so they move forward.
He teaches her how to smoke as she coughs profusely after each inhalation.
Mary says her parents are separated but live in the same house. Harold says his parents are together but are sleeping apart.
Mary finally asks if he is with his girlfriend Emma.
“Are you in love with Emma?” – Mary
“Yes, I guess.” – Harold
And while he is being truthful he tells her that he was arrested for simple assault and explains in detail what happened. But, truth be told, he is an unreliable reporter.
Something was different about this production, the way it flowed, the sincerity in which the actors expressed themselves as they moved toward their destination. It felt as though the actors have been rehearsing the show for some time, as they were fluid from one moment to the next. One doesn’t see this level of acting often. It is superior and mesmerizing.
Two people attracted to each other stare in the face of love, unable to look away, knowing that if they do, they will lose contact forever. But for a moment they are pulled away by other forces, an emotional reticent, or a commitment to another. Love is the master of confusion. So they must get it together in order to be with the one they truly love.
Michael Quinn writes and directs this wonderful production. His dialogue is comfortable and takes the audience in wonderful directions of personal discoveries. When the dialogue veers off, a response from something impenetrable, it manages to find its way back to the subject of love.
Joseph Basquill is excellent as Harold. His level of concentration is exceptional and he is fluid in movement. He is creative in his choices and offers us a glimpse of a reason why he can’t get it together. The choice is so easy but the forces within himself tear Harold dramatically. And, he is his own worst enemy.
Hadley Durkee as Mary doesn’t like to take chances. Or, maybe she does. She is uncomfortable walking into an empty bedroom with a man she barely knows. She is inexperienced in some ways but inquisitive to the moment and stubbornly tenacious in finding an answer to her question. She is infatuated with him, but doesn’t want him to know it, at least not right away. Durkee is wonderful in the role, and grows dramatically as the play progresses and the time moves further in their relationship. It’s a wonderful role and Durkee is wonderful in it.
This show has a one-week run ending on Sunday August 7th, 2022.
Run! Run! Run! And take a former lover or someone you haven’t quite made a decision on.
Zoe Brown produces this outstanding production. Other member of the outstanding crew are as follows:
Ally Lardner - Stage Manager
Olivia Meredith - Production Designer
Hayden Kirschbaum - Lighting Designer
Bailee Herrera - Sound Designer
Austin Martinez - Pre-Production Photos:
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046