What's it about?
Yours Unfaithfully is about a rocky 1930's marriage. It explores open relationships and how couples work through the issues associated with them.
What I experienced?
This play took human self-interest and blew it up into a two hour, three-act drama. I found myself always looking at the characters and trying to decide who had the moral high ground. I finally came to the conclusion that no one really had the high ground – they’re all shitty people in their own, special way. And I think that’s hilarious, while also being sad. I enjoyed laughing at the lengths to which some characters would twist the truth to fit their worldview, but I also found it strikingly too true for comfort. They're really not that different from anyone in the audience...
I had the good fortune of being able to sit in the front row for this performance. I used this to watch how characters conveyed their emotional manipulations and that drama was the most enthralling. There was Stephen, who was overly exuberant about pretty much anything. There was Anne, who I knew was unhappy when she cast her eyes away from another as she spoke. Each character was irritating in his or her unique way.
I rifled through my brain, overly eager to put each character into a box. I wanted to decide whose moral ambiguity was most agreeable to me and who was just a terrible person and, damnit, they should be ashamed of themselves. Luckily for me, most of them did fit into a certain box or archetype (overbearing father, wild mistress, rebellious child), so I felt like I could see where the story was going. But it wasn't entirely predictable. Some things, particularly with Anne and Stephen’s marriage, were a hot mess and underwent many shifts. I have never seen a couple where two people are so incompatible in one area of life, yet so afraid of being open with each other. Their whole existence was just tension, tension, tension.
Things were almost too real. When I go to see a show, I tend to expect to stretch my imagination, or laugh heartily, or think profoundly. Perhaps I am alone in this, but having carried it with me into this show, I left feeling almost antsy. Without giving anything away, the show ends on uncertain footing. The final line makes you think there is more to come, but instead, the lights go out and the performers take their bows. I felt somewhat anxious, as if I had been waiting for some greater conclusion. I feel like I might usually have this issue with shows, I’m too eager for a show to have finality and closure. Why do I keep picking shows that don’t? Hmm. That's for another day.