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Mallon’s The Net Will Appear with Sweet Audacity Balancing on the Edge

Mallon’s The Net Will Appear with Sweet Audacity Balancing on the Edge

Perched on two rooftops, side by side, a sweet odd couple fights their way across the divide of generations and actual air space towards a kind and gentle salvation. Weaved delicately together by playwright Erin Mallon (The Other White Meat), Mile Square Theatre and The Collective NY‘s The Net Will Appear, directed with a sure footed balance by Mark Cirnigliaro (MST’s Goodnight Moon) graces the secondary stage at 59E59 Theaters with a thoughtful warm hug and a gentle laugh.  It’s kind and emotionally true, speaking sweetly and innocently of love, attachment, and loss in a way that feels authentic and engaging. It floats across the separating space, designed with clarity by Matthew J. Fick (59E59’s Connected), with detailed costumes by Peter Fogel (Inviolet’s Pride and Sensibility), sincere lighting by Justin A. Partier (Florida Studio’s Rich Girl) and Jenn Burkhardt (Producer’s Club’s Scum), and a clear sound by Sean Hagerty (Third Rail’s Then She Fell) on the wings of both Mallon and Cirnigliaro, but born on the backs and bodies of two very different but connected souls.

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Eve Johnson and Richard Masur in The Net Will Appear at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Jody Christopherson.

Richard Masur (Broadway’s Lucky Guy), a familiar face that you instantly feel a strong affection for plays Bernard, an older pony-tailed seemingly curmudgeon seeking solitude within a liquor bottle on his rooftop. We aren’t quite sure what he is trying to escape at first, but it has something to do with mousetraps on his tree and the anxiety he elicits when he peers into his bedroom window speaking softly and caressingly to an angry woman, most likely his wife, that sits inside. For a quick moment it doesn’t ring all that honestly, especially when he tries to bellow at the world and its birds through a raspy strained voice, but quickly and without warning, he slides comfortably into the skin of this man as easy as he plops down into his backyard chair refilling his glass from the bottle in his cooler.  It’s a beautiful balanced construction that envelops this figure and draws us inside his pained persona. This is obviously a recurring space he finds himself in, until Rory, played with a miraculously sense of purpose and honesty by the very talented Eve Johnson (Paper Mill Playhouse’s Annie), climbs out of her window and demands to be heard.

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Eve Johnson in The Net Will Appear at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Jody Christopherson.

It’s clear she is in need of connection, most desperately, and the obviousness of the dynamic that builds over the next 100 minutes is hard not to see clearly and know, but “do me a solid” and just believe me when I tell you this tender and emotional entwining of two souls in need is worthy of your time and your heart. Johnson is a charmer, building enthusiasm, emotionality, and engagement with a force that can’t be denied, “excelling in all three“.  It’s lovely to watch this young actress do her thing on that small rooftop stage, and their emotional entanglement resonates, even as the piece and the story is “Gettin’ dark“. Mallon gives us her own brand of the Odd Couple, fascinating and real. A perfect gift of clarity, love, and kindness for the holidays. Do yourself a sweet favor and move in across the street, climb out on to your rooftop, sit back, and fall for The Net Will Appear. And don’t worry, you’ll be caught in its gentle and safe embrace before you even know it.

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Eve Johnson and Richard Masur in The Net Will Appear at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Jody ChristophersonFor more, go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Off Broadway
@#frontmezzjunkies

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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