Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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‘Buy My House’ at Aurora Theatre

2009 October 10
Doyle Reynolds and Lala Cochran, Photo: Aurora Theatre

Doyle Reynolds and Lala Cochran Photo: Aurora Theatre

“Buy My House Please!” made its world premiere at Aurora Theatre Thursday night and most of the audience gave it a standing ovation.

Were they serious?

The new comedy by playwright Gabriel Dean revolves around the financial plight of a young couple, Tim Lark (Matthew Myers) and Bryn Lark (Bethany Anne Lind).

Tim works as a barista at Starbucks since he was  laid off from his advertising job months ago. His wife, an elementary school art teacher, is pregnant. The couple needs to sell their home to prevent it from going into foreclosure.

Their real estate agent, Peter Shaw (Doyle Reynolds), gets them on a reality show so they can show their home to thousands of TV viewers. The host of the show, Shelby Whitstone (LaLa Cochran), turns on the charm for the cameras and the haughty bitchiness for everyone around her.

Shelby insists that the couple empty their home so the show can properly stage it. Bryn insists that the urn she made out of her mother’s deceased remains stay on the mantel. She says she made the urn with her mother’s remains cast as part of the urn. They’re not inside it. Her mother, she says, will remain on the mantel.

When a prospective buyer visits the home, she says she will only take it if she can have the urn as well. This is one of a few situations that make this play a dream for someone who is fond of absurd comedies and a conundrum for the rest of us.

While Dean keeps the pace moving with many different characters walking in and out of scenes, the situations are over the top. For instance, people who work for the reality show dress up in outrageous costumes—two men dress up like women—to look like prospective buyers for the house.

The show is neatly wrapped up with Peter saying, “Reality TV is not reality. It’s bullshit.” And Tim says, “Home isn’t something you buy. It’s something you build.”

“Buy My House” is a fast-paced show but is light on substance. To me, it brings to mind the TV comedy show “Two and a Half Men.” People find it funny, but I don’t understand why.

“Buy My House Please!” continues through Nov. 1 at Aurora Theatre.

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. Lee Marks permalink
    October 11, 2009

    Let’s be a little more direct Ms. Asher, this thing was a $30/ticket disaster! I watched the first half of this show on Saturday night October 10th. I’m not a theatre professional, but I have been to 5-6 shows in the past year around the area, and this show was far below par. Everyone in the audience wanted to like this show, but was coming up empty. Wow, I can’t say there was anything funny or redeemable about it. The main characters I would describe as winy, petty, and frankly hard to believe they were actually a married couple. The guy was wimpy, somewhat pathetic and obviously ‘acting’ that he loved his wife as much as the story intended. She was rude, childish, uptight.

    They were supposed to be the ‘victims’ of the TV/Real Estate industry but were more annoying than the bad guys. All of the other characters went downhill from there. There really we not true laughs except from the Real Estate agent, aka Bobby Trendy with less sass and more caffeine. So you can see the level at which they went for the gusto. We left at intermission.

  2. Suzanne Johnson permalink
    October 13, 2009

    I couldn’t disagree more with both of you. I saw the same show on Saturday night at the Aurora and was enthralled from the beginning of the show until the end (as was the rest of the audience).
    My husband and I frequent Atlanta theatre, probably seeing at least 20 shows a year, and we see shows in New York at least once a year and I was VERY proud to see an original voice coming out of Georgia for a change. Atlanta is overrun with New York repeats and it was so nice to go see a topical show by one of our own. In fact, I came home and googled this young writer immediately only to find this post. I have since recommended this show to my co-workers and friends.
    It was refreshing to see someone take a comic look at a very serious subject matter.

    Anyone who reads this, GO SEE THE SHOW AT THE AURORA!!! It’s well produced, very well performed and fantastically written. Thank you, Aurora, for bringing to life this kind of theatre in our community.

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