ART is smart. It’s also funny as hell, which makes braving the Gaslamp traffic to see this urbane one-act comedy well worth the effort. The play by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hamptom and directed by Christy Yael-Cox, is the inaugural production in Intrepid Theatre Co.’s seventh season, its first as permanent resident of the Horton Grand Theatre. Yael-Cox, a truly gifted director, has a literate, witty script and three indefatigable actors (Daren Scott, Jason Heil, Jacob Bruce) to work with.
When the pseudo-intellectual Serge (Heil) brings home a monochromatic (that’s being kind) painting that he paid 200 grand for, he unwittingly (well, maybe not) ignites a series of combustible conversations, some of which even turn physical, between himself and his best friends Marc (Scott) and Yvan (Bruce). All three guys’ posturing, neuroses and insecurities come to the fore in delightfully shuddering put-downs, wisecracks and gamesmanship. The actors’ grimaces and expressions of affront and self-righteousness add to the thorough hilarity, which never lapses into silliness. ART is one of those rare plays you just might go see a second time.
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.