‘All This Intimacy’ at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center by Mariya Danilenko

All This Intimacy, a play by Rajiv Joseph (The Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), is about a Columbia professor, Ty (Sean Coe), who is having an affair with three different women. The play focuses of his relationships and how he managed to get all three of them pregnant. Jen (Natalie Cutcher) is a 28-year-old graduate student whose sister is the fiancée of Ty’s best friend Brandon Mitchell (Seth), Maureen (Amy Miharu Hard) is Ty’s married next door neighbor, and Becca (Emily Thompson) is his (drum roll please) 18 year-old student. Ty is a selfish man, apathetic to the consequences of his actions, and he does not love any of these women; he is a character with no redeeming qualities.

Sean Coe (Ty) and Brandon Mitchell (Seth). Photo by Emily Morrison.

Director Perry T. Schwartz, who also designed the production, sets the show in Ty’s living room, which is complete with a couch, carpet, coat hanger and everything else you can expect in an average New York City apartment. There is a maze painted on the walls of Ty’s living room, with the words “labyrinth” and “precipice” on it. This, according to the director’s note, is to suggest that the characters are on the precipice of their lives, or stuck in a labyrinth that is their life, but the words on the wall make the play too obvious; Becca recites a poem called “Precipice” and at least one of the other characters mentions labyrinths.

There is one scene in the show that I enjoyed the most – when Ty decides to invite all three of his pregnant loves to a dinner party. Becca and Maureen arrive to his house, things are awkward but they do not yet know that the other is pregnant, let alone that they both are sleeping with Ty. That’s when Jen comes in and immediately runs to the bathroom. Jen comes back in and says, “Sorry, I was peeing,” and on this hilarious note all chaos ensues. All three women start yelling at the same time, all three with different reactions, the student says “I had no idea you got so much action!”

Natalie Cutcher (Jen) and Sean Coe (Ty). Photo by Emily Morrison.

All This Intimacy is a show about a man who cares only about himself, alienating the audience, which is why it can be difficult to watch, and this is due to Sean Coe’s excellent performance. The play is structured in a way that the intrigue is revealed through monologues before the action even happens, which slows the story down and makes it less interesting (we knew what would happen during the dinner party before it happened because Ty told us about in a small monologue beforehand). Nonetheless, the cast is outstanding and they bring their characters to life superbly.

Running time: Approximately two hours, with one 10-minute intermission.

All This Intimacy plays through November 18, 2012 at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center – 7995 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, MD in Silver Spring in Theatre 2. For tickets, call the box office at (240)-567-5775, or purchase them online.



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