NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, January 28, 2016, 2:05 PM
What’s real and what’s fake comes up more than once in Lauren Gunderson’s exasperating play “I and You.”
As written, acted and directed, the two-character drama comes off as really phony.
The story concerns two high schoolers. Caroline (Kayla Ferguson) is ill and goes to class via the Internet. Anthony (Reggie D. White), a popular kid she doesn’t know, barges unannounced into her bedroom to work on a project about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
“I and this mystery, here we stand,” he says. She’s confused. We are too. That feeling doesn’t completely go away.
Over 80 minutes of teenspeak, they discuss poetry and reveal themselves. She likes Elvis. She’s sick. He loves jazz. He fixes things. He knows Whitman forwards and backwards. Even though she’s not read the book, Caroline is soon quoting the poet. What’s up with that?
By the play’s end, preceded by a pull-the-rug-out turn, all is revealed. As if that explains and absolves the clanging script and clunky artificial performances guided by director Sean Daniels.
“I and You” has been produced across the country and, now, in New York. Some may see Gunderson’s construction and 11th-hour shift as a heart-warming payoff. My take: it’s a cop-out.
No mystery, there I stand.