By Jeff Daniels
Directed by Ron OJ Parsons
At Windy City Playhouse, Chicago
“Apartment 3A might be the nicest apartment in the building, but it can’t possibly be enough to make up for the day that Annie has had. A nasty breakup, an on-air meltdown, and a fledgling romance have left her faithless and heartbroken. So when a simple visit from an enigmatic new neighbor starts to change things for the better, Annie has to ask: Is it fate? Luck? Or divine intervention?” – from the press notes
Finding true love a mater of belief or fate?
Actor/playwright Jeff Daniels has penned a romantic, sexy comic drama, Apartment 3A, that starts out as a wacky romantic comedy with a mysterious twist move to a debate about the existence of God then to a wild sex romp then to a surreal resolution. All in two acts and two hours of stage time.
Apartment 3A features a female liberal PBS TV station on air fund raiser in a Midwest town, Annie (Eleni Pappageorge) who is having a bad time. She catches her lover having sex with another woman that makes her leave in rage. She quickly find an apartment in a questionable part of town – Apartment 3A. She takes the place and she immediately meets her neighbor in 2A, Donald (Daniel Smith), a well dressed man who immediately tells Annie not to fall in love with him since he is happily married. Annie has weird attraction to the quirky man who is a landscape painter who loves to cook eggs.
Annie has a meltdown while pitching for donations to the local PBS station stating the Big Bird may be dying! her director, Elliot (Jose “Tony” Garcia), hopelessly in love with Annie, makes excuses for her to the station management. Elliot asks Annie to lunch often but she refuses.
Back at Apartment 3A, Donald courts Annie with wine and scrambled eggs as he advises her to go to lunch with Elliott since her is interested in her. She goes to lunch and Elliot starts a funny and telling discussion about the existence of God after Elliott blurts out that he is a Catholic and Annie retorts that she doesn’t believe in God. This debate starts out funny, moves to serious discourse and ends up at Elliot’s apartment in a wild sex romp.
Things get strange when Elliott reenacts the sex actions of polar bears he saw in a PBS documentary and Annie shouts “Donald” during their sex. In order not to spoil the mysterious plot twists, I’ll nor say more. But Annie gets special proof that she wants about love, romance and spiritual existence.
While Daniels’s play starts out slow in act one, in act two it all comes together effectively. It would help if Daniels and direst or Ron OJ Parsons had made the foreshadowing elements a tad clearer. But stay with this play since it gets both hilarious and profound in act tow when all things get resolved. Eleni Papageno, Jose Garcia and Daniel Smith blended together to present their characters nicely. Eleni Pappageorge is the real star here.
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2016.
For more info check the Apartment 3A page st theatreinchicago.com.
At Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving park, Chicago, call 773-891-8985, https://windycityplayhouse.com, tickets $25- $55, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 3:00pm, running time is 2hours, 20 minutes with intermission, through December 18, 2016.