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By Fran Syverson
It’s 1972, and the era of rent control in New York. And it’s not often that such a fabulous apartment comes onto the market-and one with a view of the Hudson River! “6 RMS RIV VU,” the ad says. It’s a “find,” that’s for sure.
After other prospective tenants depart, two remain to give the apartment a last look. A man and a woman, both are eager to get the place, and they head for home to tell their respective spouses about it.
But when they get to the door, alas! The doorknob is gone. Eddie, the building superintendant, thinking everyone had left, has taken the doorknob to repair it. Ann and Jeremy can’t get out. They are stranded! There’s no phone in the apartment and, of course, no cell phone. Not in1972. What to do? What to do?
Frantic pounding of doors and hollering out the window are to no avail. Resigned, they settle in for the night, and soon engage in small talk. Lena Bouton brings an exuberant charm and liveliness to her role as Ann Miller, a somewhat discontented housewife. Jeremy Guskin plays a rather frisky Paul Friedman whose claim to fame is writing ad copy. Their clever and funny repartee begins, keeping the audience in stitches.
And, as sometimes happens, perchance with seat partners on a long plane trip, they share some of the more intimate details of their lives. Talk comes easily in a cocoon of anonymity-after all, once the plane lands, you will never see each other again.
As the hours pass and the night grows longer, the two apartment-hunters begin to sense a strong attachment to each other. They’re witty, attractive people-each chafing at their current roles in life as spouse and parent. Ann and Paul are in the upward middle class, both seeking meaning in their lives in these, the socially turbulent ’70s.
It is fun to watch Ann and Paul each parrying the flip remarks the other makes. Eventually Eddie returns with the doorknob, and the one-night tenants leave. They return the next day bringing their spouses-Kristen Towers-Rowles as Janet Friedman, Paul’s wife; and Craig McEldowney playing Anne Miller’s husband. Both are suitably mystified at the subtle looks and guilty innuendos between their spouses.
Supporting cast members include Bob Rodriguez as Eddie, the building superintendent. He is a convincing buffoon trying to solve not only the door knob snafu, but also the kitchen’s plumbing problem. Lynndi Scott, as the lady who lives across the hall in 4A with her Doberman, appears in her bathrobe during a ruckus. Two other prospective tenants are Jill Maglione as a very pregnant women and Albert Garnica as the expectant father.