Written by David Carl and Katie Hartman; Directed by Michole Biancosino
Off Off Broadway, New Show
Runs through 4.23.15
The Peoples Improv Theater, 123 East 24th Street
by Shani R. Friedman on 4.19.15
Katie Hartman and David Carl in David and Katie Get Re-Married. Photo by Jeanette Sears.
BOTTOM LINE: What’s a little co-dependence between two crazy sorta-in-love kids in this comedy about two people who just can’t quit each other?
David Carl and Katie Hartman are gathered, ready to take the plunge all over again four months after the divorce on their six year marriage was finalized. In attendance is their best man Will Nunziata and “paying guests” (who must help with the costs since David and Katie are still paying off the first wedding, which was held at a vineyard). Will hands out a program for the wedding – nice touch.
David and Will were best friends in high school and ended up at Sarah Lawrence, where they met Katie. David was the third wheel at the start but got moved up in the rotation after a drunken Halloween party. They remained locked in her dorm room for a week creating art, including the banner on display that reads “You Cannot Stop This Love.” David ended it shortly thereafter and so goes the story of their romance with many makeups and breakups.
In the lead up to re-taking their vows, the couple participates in an honesty ceremony that quickly escalates. Katie tells David that he embarrasses her by being rude to hostesses, and he responds that “when I feel a cool late autumn breeze on my neck and I can’t tell if I’m shivering from the cold or having a panic attack, I know it’s you...withholding forgiveness.” Katie, possessed of a more withering bite, tells him “without me, you would die in a fetal position in the shadow of your mother.” A lot of witty barbs, but I thought the scene did go on a little too long. For further healing they share a transcript of a fight they had at the Met that David recorded, aided by two people from the audience. Like a number of their dust-ups, it ended with them having sex in the restroom. Before they make it to the alter (or do they?), there’s an epic battle royale (sans bathroom sex) that culminates in spilled booze and smashed cake, a unity volcano, and Katie’s haunting rendition of “Is That All There Is.”
As funny as the marriage antics are, Carl and Hartman are also impressive lyricists and musicians who harmonize really well together on their four original songs in the show. The first, composed during their week-long hideaway, “Chimpanzee Love,” didn’t grab me, but the later tunes “Only Go Up,” Threesome,” and “Didn’t We,” were lovely, with shades of folk and country.
Although I was not familiar with Hartman’s previous work (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting), I had been lucky enough to catch Carl last summer in his unforgettable Fringe Fest show Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet. Carl has single-handedly captured the New York market on Gary Busey impersonators, playing him in fan-favorite Point Break Live as well. Much to my surprise, Carl does not in fact sound like a surfer dude. The duo only met last year but have clearly formed a very solid partnership in a short amount of time.
Come for the laughs and music, stay for the baked goods. There’s actual cake at the reception, baked by Carl; you won’t be invited to lick it off the faces of the actors, unless they’re saving that for the final show.
(David and Katie Get Re-Married is at The Peoples Improv Theater, 123 East 24th Street. Remaining performance is 4/23. Tickets are $15 and available at the door or by visiting eventbrite.com.)