Off Broadway February 14, 2002
Reviewed by Bruce Weber
Broadcast on WQXR
Unequalibrium, a four character play for one actor has an appealingly
Each of the four characters, men, unrelated and unknown to one another, is
given a monologue detailing his activities on a snowy night in and around
Manhattan. And in the fifth monologue which returns to the first character
we discover how all four men end up in a tragic encounter on West 22nd
The show, written by Alex Lyras and Rob McCaskill, performed by the former
and directed by the latter, I recommend on the strength of three of the
One is from a recently downsized webmaster, out of work, high strung in any
case but particularly stressed out as we zoom in on him pacing frenetically
about his untidy apartment and arguing with his girlfriend on the telephone.
The second is a plumber on a winning streak in Atlantic city and the third
is a seedy lawyer who tells a fabulous nightlife story just this side of
shady, over a game of pool.
Playing all three, Mr. Lyras, brings a physical robustness to characters who
are nicely delineated New Yorkers.
In the writing and the acting, the men are both recognizable types and
distinct personalities. The weakest character is the one who delivers the
moral lesson. He's an indulgent young guy with a conscience. A junior high
school teacher not above taking hallucinogenic drugs, and he witnesses the
key event of the play the night before he is about to move out of the city.
It moves him to a lament about mortality.
But even with this caveat, Mr. Lyras is a writer and a performer of promise
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