LIVE: “Birthday Boy” @ Berkshire Theatre Group, Stockbridge [GailSez]
Although the posters for Birthday Boy feature cupcakes, to me the experience of the play was like cotton candy. Its so much fun to watch it being spun on the cone and it looks so pretty and yummy…and then you take a bite and there’s nothing there. Here you have four extremely attractive and talented actors delivering Christopher Newbound’s light and entertaining dialogue in a well-directed production by Wes Grantom, but there is no substance.
Matt (James Ludwig) is turning forty. He’s married to Arianne (Keira Naughton) and they have two school-aged children. Unsurprisingly, things are in a kind of a rut for them and they are questioning where their relationship is going.
So it is also not surprising that they are both flattered by the attentions of young suitors. Arianne is a college English professor being hotly pursued by an impulsive young student (is there any other kind?) named Julian (Nick Dillenburg). Matt does something vague in the marketing department of an even vaguer, new-age-y corporation and is indulging in a mild flirtation with Melora (Tara Franklin), who shares his birthday and is turning 30. She too is married, to her high school sweetheart, and their childless relationship is in a similar questioning mode.