3C

Critics' pick
0 Love It
1/5
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. By David Adjmi. Dir. Jackson Gay. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

2/5
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. By David Adjmi. Dir. Jackson Gay. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

3/5
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. By David Adjmi. Dir. Jackson Gay. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

4/5
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. By David Adjmi. Dir. Jackson Gay. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

5/5
Photograph: Joan Marcus

Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. By David Adjmi. Dir. Jackson Gay. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

Although I was just a country lad at the height of the ’70s, the era exists in received cultural memory as a Neverland of disco tunes, bell-bottoms, porn ’staches and a general air of cheerful, post-hippie licentiousness. Elements not as likely to intrude on this groovy, pseudo-nostalgic mythos are Vietnam vets, homophobic backlash and a hungover, fucked-out generation staring into the maw of the ’80s. Playwright David Adjmi has kindly filled in the blanks with his bitterly funny and inventive 3C, which appropriates the sitcom structure of iconic Three’s Company and pumps it full of sexual panic and existential horror. Don’t worry; there are also plenty of convulsive, wacky laughs—more, in fact, than you’d find over in TV Land.

John McDermott’s set hearkens back to the Santa Monica funky-singleton apartment we know from reruns: stucco walls, granny couch, the swinging pantry door just begging for pratfalls. It’s the home of plucky Linda (Hannah Cabell) and slutty Connie (Anna Chlumsky), gal pals with a rent shortage. Enter from the kitchen fully naked Brad (Jake Silbermann), a discharged solider and potential roommate, who passed out during last night’s party. In order to convince lechy landlord Mr. Wicker (Bill Buell) to let Brad room with them, the girls lie about him being gay. Only, he really is. Cue super-creepy series of “faggot” jokes from a leering Wicker.

Adjmi’s script, quick-cutting from dopey to deranged in seconds, is intensely funny and unnerving in equal measure. The outstanding cast transcends parody under Jackson Gay’s shrewd direction, achieving moments of shocking pain and heartbreak. I don’t actually believe the ’70s were like the hysterical, perverse dystopia we see in 3C, but then again, you can’t trust what you see on the tube.—David Cote

 

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote

Event phone: 212-279-4200
Event website: http://3ctheplay.com

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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Sherlene5

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Adam

Agree completely with David's review. See this show. It is highly discomfiting and darkly hilarious and perfectly performed and there is nothing quite like it.

Sam

This is one of the most astonishing, unique pieces of theatre I've ever, ever, EVER seen in my life. It has nothing to do with Three's Company really, it is about America and the brutality and violence that gets parlayed into entertainment here. Loved this play.