'Stitching'

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Is fantasy the new personal reality? This has been known to happen when people are deeply unsatisfied with the reality they're in or can't seem to make it work no matter how hard they try.

In "Stitching," Scottish playwright Anthony Neilson explores the psychosexual landscape surrounding this idea. The play, which created a buzz in London and New York in recent years, isn't nearly as shocking as you might have heard, but it might be best to leave grandma home all the same.

Two damaged people, Stu (John Ventimiglia) and Abbey (Meital Dohan), are at the center of the story. When we meet them, they're trying to figure out what to do about Abbey's pregnancy. It's clear that communication and problem-solving are not their strong suits. When Stu asks Abbey if she's sure the baby is his, fireworks follow.

In the next scene, we flash back about 10 years to the couple's first meeting. Abbey is a college girl doing a little whoring on the side, and Stu is apparently her first john. The worm of suspicion is already starting to gnaw at them.

And so it goes in a succession of alternating scenes in which each character tries to figure out what the other wants but never really succeeds. While the chemistry between Ventimiglia and Dohan is reasonably good, it's not always enough to overcome the schematic feel of the 75-minute drama. (partialdiff)
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