Feb. 5—March 2
Round House Theatre Bethesda
4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD
There’s a certain inhumane bite to the way the five literary strivers of Seminar come at each other, but on the whole Theresa Rebeck’s comedy is a light affair. It’s 95 minutes or so of snappy, if somewhat predictable, bickering among four would-be fiction writers and the aging, once-famous novelist they’ve hired to coach them. Perhaps knowing that even the funniest and most earnest confrontations about style, tone, and truthfulness of impulse might not command an audience for even the length of a one-act, Rebeck has written in a couple of sex-and-romance subplots. But never mind: This is a comedy, albeit one with a serious and slightly desperate edge. And director Jerry Whiddon has coached his cast—Marty Lodge as the embittered older writer, plus Laura C. Harris as a vixen with a pen, Katie deBuys as a trust-fund baby with an Austen fixation, Tom Story as an Ivy League blue blood writing too transparently to please, and Alexander Strain as the tormented intellectual who’s a little too uptight about it all—until they’re doing crisp and communicative work.