‘The Flick’ illuminates fragility of human interaction

Monday, September 23, 2013
Arizona Republic, azcentral,com

The first American company into the breach to give “The Flick” a sophomore staging is the Valley’s own Stray Cat Theatre, and artistic director Ron May’s rendering is among his finest and most richly realized. Empirically speaking, this play isn’t for everybody, but it’s funny, affecting and surprisingly absorbing, especially considering that it only has about a sitcom episode’s worth of plot.

One thespian axiom holds that 90 percent of directing is in the casting, and May’s picks are pitch perfect.

...what makes “The Flick” genuinely enthralling is its careful observation of the awkwardness and fragility of human interaction. As the characters negotiate their impulse to connect and their need for emotional self-preservation, the play takes on the improvisational, vérité feel of an Altman film, which is all the more impressive considering every “uh” and “like” is scripted.

Judging from reviews of the New York premiere, it seems May has reigned in the Pinter pauses of the piece, and that is probably for the best. In any case, it is an impressive feat to take these unglamorous lives and find the beauty in them.