||With Auburn’s State Theater undergoing renovation,
the Placer Community Theater needed a new temporary home. They have
settled for the intimate space of the Pamelot School of Dance, which
required a simpler production, and that production is 2 Across.
The show has only two actors who deliver a 1-1/2-hour performance,
without an intermission – itself a major feat in anyone’s book. The
theater is intimate, set with 4-person tables, about 15 to 20 of them, I
would guess. The stage is designed as the inside of a BART car, and the
action takes place during the 80-minute journey from the San Francisco
Airport to the end of the line in the East Bay.
It’s the middle of the night, and our protagonists – a man and a woman –
are the only two people in the car. What gets them interacting with
each other is that they are each trying to while away the time by
solving the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. But from the very start
they are antagonists: she is uptight and proper, he is very much a free
spirit. The differences between them set up some wonderful comedy with
insults, anger, frustration, and sarcasm providing many of the laughs
early on. As the play progresses, these two people find common ground
and even affection for one another. But the laughs don’t stop. The
writing is clever and the two actors, Nancy March and Stephen Wellman,
make the most of each comic opportunity. Despite all the edgy humor,
the show is ultimately charming. For me – and I’ll bet for you – it was
an evening well spent.