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A CurtainUp Review
Two aged college roommates, Finn and Max, meet in Atlantic City for a weekend reunion of sorts; it seems as though the two mainly keep in touch with an annual wild-weekend. It has been just over a year since their last debauchery session, and a lot has happened in their lives within that timeframe.
For Max (Michael Weston), the well-to-do pharmaceutical salesman, his news is straightforward — his mother recently died. For Finn (James Roday), the PhD candidate at Columbia, his news is a bit more complicated. He slowly leaks pieces to Max, hoping to soften the blow, but the upshot is still clear: Finn wants to move on with his life, and leave their sordid — shared — past behind. However, doing this without Max's financial help would be more than challenging.
Our modern world highly cherishes two things — money, and education. However, one does not always begat the other. And when it comes to evolving, and survival of our genes, what cherished assets will help our children? Who is more likely to have children, to want children? Extinction certainly speaks to these theoretical discourses, and more. But onstage, the direct struggle is of two men desperately trying to hold onto their own identities of self. The result is devastating and cruel, but affecting and truthful.
Two Atlantic City women (Amanda Detmer and Stefanie E Frame) join the production about halfway through this ninety-minute one-act, fast-forwarding the evening's events and emotions. All four performers are talented and fully engage in their roles. Roday, Weston and Detmer's experience mainly lie in film and television, and their skills in that realm translate well to theater. Stefanie Frame's resume is a bit shorter, but she more than holds her own — she is compelling as the lost soul Victoria.
Extinction is an LA-NYC transfer. Let's hope the film-centric city has more rock-solid theater coming our way.