Those who entered Studio Theater on Friday and Saturday night were met with the absurd and the unpredictable twice over in “The Girl in the Diner” and “Check Please, Take 2.”
The plays shared these qualities as well as a common location: restaurants. But while “The Girl” took a turn for the sinister and surreal that left audiences pondering during the brief intermission, “Check Please” started off strongly rooted in comedy and kept going in that vein.
Written during Playwrights’ Workshop by senior Ivan Keta, “The Girl” centers around two actors, who have three different conversations, all taking place in the diner and all of which center around the mysterious girl they see there, whom the main characters allege they met one night.
The pairs were brought to life by senior Alyssa Gill and freshman Emma Lister, who both appeared in masculine attire with the mannerisms to match.
Director junior Rebecca Gonshak had chosen two female actors to gain “a woman’s perspective on a man’s perspective of a woman,” though the script originally called for men.
The tale begins with two high school-aged buddies goofing around over a meal in the diner, complaining about the food and how Mountain Dew “tastes like piss.” One tells the other of a girl he met here, not exactly attractive, but “had a face” and “beehive hair” with whom he sat down and attempted to chat up while she read a book.
But from there, two other recollections were portrayed, leaving the audience to draw their own dark conclusions in the end.
“Check Please,” on the other hand, jumped into the action with a girl on a blind date (played by junior Alexia Vasilopoulos) with a guy in love with the sound of his own voice, closely followed by a guy on a date of his own (played by junior Jake Maryott) with a girl whose love for the Bears knows no bounds — not even those of common courtesy.
From there, the slew of bad dates continued, eliciting laughter with the likes of a clingy girl already planning their life together, a guy wearing nothing but boxers, a kleptomaniac and a gay method actor.
Sophomore Holden Meier, who played members of the ensemble of bad dates, viewed it as a “a fun play with lots of freedom for an activity. You can just get up and start screaming and it makes sense within the play because [it] is that bizarre,” he said.
Vasilopoulous seconded Meier’s opinion, saying that “each time we did this show, I think my reactions were a little different. The energy in the crowd made all the difference, too.”
Sophomore and audience member Carly Taylor said she loved both plays, “the second one more so “because it flowed so well, which is really hard to do with such short segments. It’s impressive when you can get [the banter] going that quick.”
She was also impressed by the physical comedy apparent in both, something that is “hard to pull off [but] they did it so flawlessly.”