×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Additional Particulars

The strongest kind of comedy is that which is born from reality -- be it a reflection of something inside ourselves or a deft illustration of something familiar from the world at large. In Ed Simpson's witty and insightful new play, "Additional Particulars," that reality comes in the form of the hopes and dreams of four employees of the $ave-a-Bundle discount mart in Randolphsburg, Penn. It may not be our lives, but it is a recognizable world, and Simpson's humor is grounded in that familiarity. His perceptive writing and clear knack for small-town small talk -- the kind that walks for miles in wide circles around what's really trying to be said until it can finally work its way down to a single kernel of truth -- makes "Additional Particulars" not just a very funny show, but an unexpectedly poignant and decidedly human one as well.

With:
Glenda Balitski - Susan Mackin Warren Grippo - David Wells Kenny Hinkle - Kirk Baily Raymond Fetterman - Kevin Brief

The strongest kind of comedy is that which is born from reality — be it a reflection of something inside ourselves or a deft illustration of something familiar from the world at large. In Ed Simpson’s witty and insightful new play, “Additional Particulars,” that reality comes in the form of the hopes and dreams of four employees of the $ave-a-Bundle discount mart in Randolphsburg, Penn. It may not be our lives, but it is a recognizable world, and Simpson’s humor is grounded in that familiarity. His perceptive writing and clear knack for small-town small talk — the kind that walks for miles in wide circles around what’s really trying to be said until it can finally work its way down to a single kernel of truth — makes “Additional Particulars” not just a very funny show, but an unexpectedly poignant and decidedly human one as well.

Constructed as two related one-acts, “Additional Particulars” first concerns Warren Grippo (David Wells, in a beautifully balanced performance), $ave-a-Bundle’s self-important, slightly nerdy assistant manager, and Glenda Balitski (Susan Mackin), the store’s mousy housewares clerk who’s about to be honored as the next employee-of-the-month. Warren surprises Glenda at her tidy apartment to share the exciting news, and the resulting conversation/celebration (complete with soda and spicy Doritos) starts to take a nervous, tender turn as the blushing, stammering Warren slowly screws up the courage to admit the underlying reason for his visit.

The second act revolves around a pair of $ave-a-Bundle warehouse workers — dim-witted Kenny (Kirk Baily) and lackadaisical Raymond (Kevin Brief). Kenny’s certainly not the brightest bulb on the string, but he’s a responsible worker with a family to support who does his job without complaint — unlike Raymond, who’s about to be canned for not carrying his weight. Their hilarious lunchtime guy-talk takes a sudden shattering turn when Raymond’s constant blabbering about wanting a dream-life with a wife and kids pushes Kenny over an unseen edge.

Simpson writes with an unusual degree of humanity, and his script is buoyed by Michael Lilly’s sensitive direction and an excellent quartet of actors who breathe an extraordinary level of simple honesty into their average characters. “Dreams are only things that happen to you when you’re unconscious,” Raymond tells Kenny. But in “Additional Particulars,” Simpson, Lilly and a fine cast make those dreams conscious and real.

Additional Particulars

Comedy; The Third Stage; 50 seats; $15

Production: An Occasional Theatre, Hothouse Peonies, and West End presentation of a comedy in two acts by Ed Simpson. Directed by Michael Lilly.

Cast: Glenda Balitski - Susan Mackin Warren Grippo - David Wells Kenny Hinkle - Kirk Baily Raymond Fetterman - Kevin BriefSet, James Henriksen; wardrobe consultant, Sandy Gail; lights, James Henriksen; sound, Henry Lide. Opened May 13; reviewed July 27. Closes August 20. Running time: 2 HOURS.

More Legit

  • Bryan Cranston on the Exhausting Joys

    Listen: Bryan Cranston on the Exhausting Joys of Broadway

    For anyone who doubts that being a Broadway actor can be grueling, let Bryan Cranston set you straight. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “There is a cumulative effect of fatigue that happens on the Broadway schedule that no amount of sleep the night before is going to wash away,” the Emmy and Tony-winning actor [...]

  • Jeff Daniels Variety Broadway to Kill

    How 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Beat the Odds to Deliver a Broadway Smash

    Jeff Daniels slumps into a chair in the Shubert Theatre, grasping an oversize Starbucks and looking bone-crushingly exhausted. His eyelids are heavy, and he seems like a man in desperate need of rest. It’s easy to understand why. It’s late March, and Daniels has just given his 100th Broadway performance as Atticus Finch, the small-town attorney [...]

  • ZZ Top, Caesars Entertainment Team on

    ZZ Top, Caesars Team for Jukebox Musical 'Sharp Dressed Man' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees ZZ Top and Caesars Entertainment are developing “Sharp Dressed Man,” a jukebox musical set to open next year in Las Vegas featuring the band’s greatest hits. Members Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard are all serving as executive producers. “Sharp Dressed Man” is described as an “outrageous, [...]

  • Williamstown Theater Festival 2016 season

    Marisa Tomei Starring in Broadway Revival of 'The Rose Tattoo'

    Marisa Tomei will star in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo.” The Oscar-winning actress will play Serafina, a part previously performed by the likes of Maureen Stapleton and Anna Magnani. It’s also a role that Tomei is familiar with, having starred in a Williamstown Theatre Festival production in 2016. “The Rose Tattoo” [...]

  • White Pearl review

    London Theater Review: 'White Pearl'

    Playwright Anchuli Felicia King dismantles the Asian market in this misfiring satire at London’s Royal Court Theatre. “White Pearl” makes a case that those seeking to make inroads into the Far East, perceiving a new El Dorado, are no better that colonial conquistadors of an earlier age — and entirely unequipped to understand the specifics [...]

  • Signature Theatre Celebrates Millionth Subsidized Ticket

    Signature Theatre Offers $35 Subsidized Tickets, Celebrates Millionth Sold

    Just the other night, a Manhattan cab driver told Signature Theatre executive director Harold Wolpert that he couldn’t afford to take his girlfriend to a show. In response, Wolpert motioned to his theater, saying that they offer $35 subsidized tickets. The driver said he’d try it out. “It was a great moment,” Wolpert said. “We’re [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content