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Actually, We’re F**ked

A zippy, likeable romp across the minefield of issues facing millennials today.

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Ben Rappaport and Mairin Lee in a scene from Matt Williams’ “Actually, We’re F**ked” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (Photo credit: Monique Carboni)

Evan Lambert

Evan Lambert, Critic

Actually, We’re F**ked begins in an oh-so-chic apartment in Cobble Hill — but the conversation taking place in it is far from chic. Four millennial-ish young adults are airing out their controversial thoughts on religion and politics, and their barbs are less PC than what we’ve come to expect from Brooklynites. No religion goes untouched or untainted — and only one of these characters is Republican. So what gives? Perhaps this is what Brooklynites do when they’re behind closed doors, when they have no one to perform for.

The character of Nick, at least, is more than he appears to be. Played with prickly charm by For the People’s Ben Rappaport, Nick exudes intelligence and empathy until he’s cornered. Then he’s all growling animalistic id — the perfect foil to Keren Lugo’s warm and sensitive Molly. In fact, Rappaport’s and Lugo’s work throughout the play brings out some of its best moments. They dart and skip, respectively, across the bright, exquisitely detailed set by Robin Vest, in their immaculately chosen wardrobes designed by Theresa Squire, until they have nowhere left to go but each other. Lugo, especially, is a standout for her ability to flesh out the sometimes too-subtle dialogue and heap on her own layers of charm. If anything, she and Rappaport are the most likeable. The other two characters in the play are a lawyer (Mairin Lee) and a Republican (Gabriel Sloyer).

Incidentally, as the dialogue of Actually, We’re F**ked moves snappily by, there are a few other opportunities for humor within the script that fly right on by. That’s less of a knock against director John Pasquin than a testament to playwright Williams, who peppers his meditations on the world’s problems with idiosyncratic fluff, cutting rhetoric, and some genuinely hilarious one-liners.

Mairin Lee, Gabriel Sloyer, Ben Rappaport and Keren Lugo (from top) in a scene from Matt Williams’ “Actually, We’re F**ked” at the Cherry Lane Theatre (Photo credit: Monique Carboni)

In between scenes, the play’s lighting (by Paul Miller) and sound (by M.L. Dogg) conspire to create a hallucinogenic, disorienting slideshow of animals and rotting metropolises — a reminder of the massively dysfunctional world in which the characters of Actually, We’re F**ked are potentially raising children. Mind you, the question of whether or not to raise a child in 2019, along with lengthy discussions about genitalia, is essential to this play. And the answer to that question, according to Actually, We’re F**ked, is much more lovely and hopeful than you might expect. So go see this show if you want a road map for emotionally processing the very f**ked America we live in right now — or very detailed and accurate instructions on how to break into a company server. That is something that appears in this play as well to quite amusing effect.

Actually, We’re F**ked (extended through April 21, 2019)

Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St, west of Seventh Avenue South, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit http://www.cherrylanetheatre.org

Running time: one hour and 30 minutes with no intermission

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Evan Lambert
About Evan Lambert (3 Articles)
Evan has written for Mic, Ranker, and Out Magazine, to name a few, and has interviewed everyone from Joan Rivers to the cast of Jersey Shore. He's originally from Virginia, which is a good place to leave, and now resides in NYC, where he studies improv at The PIT and produces the recurring show "The Improvised Real Housewives Episode." He once wrote an op-ed from the perspective of the peach in Call Me By Your Name. Evan likes playing piano, Cloud Atlas (the book AND movie, don't judge), and reading difficult novels on public transportation in hopes that he'll be featured on Hot Dudes Reading. He has also written a one-act musical with another person named Evan about the ghost of Saddam Hussein having an affair with Nicolas Cage. You missed it.

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