nytheatre.com review by Gyda Arber
January 21, 2005
With Sex and the City off the air, single New York women are at a loss for entertainment directly addressing the metropolitan dating scene. What better time, then, for Fool's Pearls Productions to revive Theresa Rebeck’s Loose Knit, a play following the love lives of five 30-something women? Though first performed in the early '90s, well before SATC debuted, the tone and issues discussed are surprisingly similar, and still very contemporary.
The play centers on sisters Liz and Lily and the women in their knitting circle. They complain about their careers, knitting, and of course, men, in their regular meetings. Though Lily (played by Helen Kim) is the only married woman in the group, we quickly learn that she is no happier than the unhappy single women that surround her. In an attempt to help them, Lily arranges for the other women to go on blind dates with the same awful man; their different reactions highlight the differences and similarities between them. The funniest moments in the play come from these blind dates, especially the first one with Margie, played skillfully by Gia Rhodes. Other standouts in the play include Valerie Donaldson as therapist Paula and Don Fowler as Lily’s husband Bob, who perfects the art of simply being the character.
Much of the cast seems about five years too young for their parts; the desperation of the characters seems to stem from the ticking of their biological clocks, but the actresses in the cast didn’t look quite old enough to share this pressing concern. Director Kevin Molesworth keeps the pacing up, and set designer Oliver Sehngen does a fantastic job given the limited resources, reusing set pieces while managing to create different environments for the changing scenes.
At the end of the show, one of the characters concludes that the sweaters she’s made, wrapped around the other women in the group, is like having her arms wrapped around each of them, and that they don’t need men to get by. Though the message is a bit simplistic, it is a sweet one, worthy of hearing. This production, both funny and poignant, may be a makeshift solution for those Sex and the City fans who are, like me, experiencing severe withdrawal.