"The Liquid Moon" by John Green at the Bloomington Playwrights Project is a warmly witty romantic comedy that’s adult in one common and one very uncommon way.
First, the common way…there’s infidelity…at least of a slightly elevated, spiritual, sort…and nudity…also, because of good looks of the two actors, of an elevated, though distinctly physical, sort.
Now… the uncommon-adult-content of "The Liquid Moon." It’s the exploration of adult married love and the strains that the best, even noble intentions can put upon it. Ryan, Lee Parker, is a struggling novelist. Barbara his wife, Susan Wigglesworth, is an up and coming paleontologist. They’ve welcomed Barbara’s aged and infirm mother into their home. It’s the mature exploration of just how Ryan and Barbara’s career stresses and the strain of having a third, fragile person, always present that’s the real gift of "The Liquid Moon."
Playwright Green has a clever way of framing his play. Ryan has invited his best friend Paul, Jeff Stone, over to talk about the temptation that he’s found at a recent book signing with the smitten aspiring poet Kelly, Bethany Barber. As the two sit talking in the center of the stage, Ryan leaves for tete a tetes with Kelly on the right and for sessions with wife Barbara on the left. Sometimes Paul actually comments directly to Ryan in the midst of the separate scenes.
"The Liquid Moon " is frequently very funny with the best laughs coming from Paul’s critiques of Ryan’s guilty defenses. There are dumb moments but they are more than outweighed with scenes of real insight. Acting in the production directed by Richard Perez is of a very high level with the palm for the evening going to the eloquent restraint of Susan Wigglesworth as wife Barbara
"The Liquid Moon" plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. through April 12th. You can find an interview with playwright John Green on our Arts Interviews page .