I am a cop stereotype: I am divorced, I am an alcoholic, probably, and I have a snake that is easily charmed. And I talk about sex a lot because I don’t have much else to talk about, okay? Blame my upbringing, friend. And the public school system in Waterbury. I’m uneducated, unlike yourself.
Two police detective partners have breakfast while working a case at a generic U.S.A. hotel in author Gabriel Nathan’s electric 15-minute play Morning Was Safe. Mr. Nathan’s dialogue crackles with vernacular authenticity and his psychological scenario is a heated slice of life which briefly takes us into the heads of the two officers. It’s as if Samuel Beckett wrote an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. There’s Netflix recommendations, personal information, and a reverie about bacon recalling The Holocaust. It’s a grand vehicle for its two actors.
From the opening when the gray-haired and weathered Joe Patrick Marshall smokes a cigarette and begins speaking in a New York accent, we’re in for the ride. The commanding Mr. Marshall has a realistic presence reminiscent of a Sopranos cast member. Marshall is well matched by Vincent Ingrisano as the younger cop with his stocky everyman persona. Mr. Ingrisano mines as much depth and mundanity as possible with his detailed portrayal. Together in rumpled suits, they’re the real thing.
Director Marie Ingrisano Isner infuses the play with tension and fine pacing for this presentation that was filmed on a small stage with basic scenic design. The artful editing is comprised of well-selected closeups and long and medium shots.
Presented by the Brooklyn-based Ryan Repertory Company, Morning Was Safe is the curtain-raiser for Yasmine Rana’s 40-minute Icarus and Amina. This duo is billed as Aporia: An Evening of Sublime Paradoxes and is available on Video On Demand.
Morning Was Safe (streaming June 25 – July 9th, 2021)
Ryan Repertory Company
Live Event with Discussion after the show with the actors, playwrights and directors, July 1st, 2021 at 7pm, https://our.show/ryan-repertory/aporialive
Running time: 15 minutes