nytheatre.com review by Roger Nasser
August 15, 2010
Traveling can really be a pain sometimes, especially when there are delays. It is even more annoying when the departure time keeps getting pushed back. That is the premise of GreyMatters Productions' Gate B23. In it, we meet seven travelers flying from Palm Beach Airport to Newark. We get to know these travelers pretty well during the course of the show as their storylines unfold. There are three main storylines, but they all flow really well in and out of each other. Both the transitions between delays and the focus from each storyline to the next are very smooth.
Gate B23 is a fun ensemble show. Scott Morse is very charming as Zach, a confident and self-assured twentysomething guy who begins to flirt with Lilah. Jody Lyn Flynn is magnificent as Lilah, who is heading back to Jersey to finalize her divorce. Flynn brings many layers to Lilah and is a joy to watch. The chemistry between Flynn and Morse is really great and extremely believable, and it is fun watching their interactions.
Also very impressive are Marcy Orloff Prastos and Sue-Ellen Mandell, who play Lotte, a middle-aged woman, and Bertha, her mother, in a wheelchair, who doesn't want to go back to New Jersey. Their relationship is very engaging and convincing. Mandell's Bertha is so endearing and funny—and she gets to say a few zingers. Prastos brings a thoughtfulness and strength to Lotte, who has to deal with her dementia-stricken mother.
Alex Adams and Bill Fitzhugh provide a lot of tension as Travis, a troubled teenager, and Walter, the father who is bringing him back to Jersey. And Gina Marie Jamieson is a scene-stealer as the Teenage Girl. Jamieson has probably the least amount of dialogue in the show but she really reacts to everything that was going on.
Kudos go to Debbie Slevin for delivering a smart and funny script and possessing a keen director's eye. I really enjoyed watching the show. I loved the characters that Slevin wrote. They were all real people, some in very difficult situations. There are even a few plot twists that are so well-thought-of that I really didn't expect them, which is really refreshing. Gate B23 has the feel of the first episode of a really good series—and I mean that in a very good way. I wanted to see what happened to the characters when they got on the plane and then when they get to their respective destinations in New Jersey. The possibilities are really endless. Gate B23 will entertain you with a great premise and story and also make you want more. I look forward to more works from Slevin and GreyMatters Productions.