Animals

Photograph: Christian Hartman
Three friends attend what turns out to be a savage high-school-reunion house party in Sam Byron’s twisted coming-of-age story. As the boozy night wears on, lower instincts supplant social graces, and lust and status games run rampant. Robby falls prey to host Lisa, whose endearing curiosity is mixed with ironic disinterest in his honesty. Meanwhile, Drew goes feral, imposing himself on Megan, Lisa’s “hetero life-mate,” while Royce smugly manipulates everyone from the sidelines. Although Animals contains surprisingly charged sexual moments, it doesn’t actually plumb many layers in its crude portrait of post-teen atavism, loss and longing. Does Byron think that although life is unfair and guilt serves a purpose, our actions are justifiable because…we're all just animals? The play doesn’t have the teeth to support such a beastly proposition. (Visit our Fringe Festival page for more reviews, and fringenyc.org for more information.)—Daylin Hull
Event website: http://horsetrade.info
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