Like a Russian nesting doll or unpeeled onion, The Grass Was Never Greener is a multi-layered script, with plot lines abundant with dark humor and dramatic twists and turns throughout. An unlikely bond develops between the two main characters, “He” and “She,” played by Jim Blanchette and Lydia Dorsey, as their lives unravel before their very eyes. The opening lyrics, introducing the first scene, are quite foreboding: “Being sheltered in your arms, but I get along without you very well.”
Home is where the heart is, so they say, yet “wherever you go, there you are,” insecurities, baggage and all. Such is the case with this off-beat, “odd couple,” determined and desperate to feed off of each other, in deception, abuse, and cruelty, as their co-dependence and dysfunction escalate. The tension onstage is so thick — it permeates throughout the theatre, almost leaving one “needing to hold on for balance.”
Write Act Repertory seems to have a knack at presenting quirky, eccentric material that is becoming increasingly realistic and true to life.
“He” is a lonely, sensitive, agoraphobic, retreating into his own comfort zone, albeit, if only through cyberspace chatrooms; “she” is the relentless bully, seemingly powerful on the surface, yet profoundly weak within. “We” wait, almost with bated breath and hopefulness to see if the underdog can prevail, just like in the comic books he is so fond of. The two form an awkward courtship, while the main character yearns to turn his sad-sack life around.
Following the “greats” of dramatic theater, Albee (Zoo Story) and Beckett (Waiting for Godot), playwright Jim Blanchette’s The Grass Was Never Greener contains heart-wrenching moments and masterful dialogue.
The wonderfully expressive cast of two brings their characters to life in this bittersweet riff. With an O’Henry existential twist, they finish the show the way they started it: together yet ultimately alone.
The Grass Was Never Greener runs through March 2 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. The Write Act Repertory Theatre is located at 6128 Yucca St. in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 469-3113 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.