Sea Change

This world premiere of Nick Salamone’s latest play offers an elegant study of enduring friendships among five friends (three gay men and two lesbians). From the spaced-out highlife of their youth in the ’70s to a sober, sadder and wiser middle age a quarter-century later, the quintet explores companionship, sensuality and love on a small fishing boat off Cape Cod. The boat’s owner, Gene (Ryun Yu), is outed as a future priest who’s sending his lover, Val (Nick Cimiluca), into a tailspin that spurs the entire group into a orgy of philosophy, pop psychology and nature worship. Twenty-five years later, AIDS and mental illness have intervened in the friends’ lives as they reconnect for a reunion on the boat. Salamone’s clear sense of character and story sometimes falls prey to florid language, but director Jon Lawrence Rivera and the fine cast (including Fran De Leon, Clay Storseth and Lisa Tharps) are skilled enough to navigate through these overwrought moments. Gary Reed’s stylishly crafted boat set provides a vivid sense of place; expert hair and makeup and Elizabeth Huffman’s witty costume designs help the actors add further credibility to the age transitions.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 19. Continues through Oct. 26, 2008