Home > "Private Eyes" (review) thru Nov. 9th
"Private Eyes" (review) thru Nov. 9th

Short Description of "Private Eyes" (review) thru Nov. 9th

"Private Eyes"

Shakespeare & Co

70 Kembel

Lenox, MA

to purhase tickets: http://shakespeare.org


The affair.


Mention it, and you get more gasps than the Great White Shark on Shark Week. Walk into the supermarket and read the cover of Cosmo, and you're convinced you're the only one not having one. Watch a play about it at Shakespeare & Co., and look who around you to see who wears the Scarlet Letter and is squirming in their seats. I can hear it now: “He shifted in his chair. Must be him!!”


Yes, that kind of affair--let's talk about it a sec, which is something we don't usually do.


In my other life, I sent 25 years, way too many, listening to stories about them. Know how the sign says “Attorney and Counselor at Law”? Secret: It's 90% Counselor. We don't always get paid for these sessions (usually not), and they happen over coffee, not in the office. “Yeah, listen—can we grab a quick cup of coffee” is usually code for, “Can I tell you a big dirty secret in your portable confessional so we don't go on the clock?” That's the husband's approach. The wife comes to your office, dressed for combat, focused, seeking revenge.


But for the husband, confession of the affair, for some reason, always needs to take place in a coffee shop, three octaves lower.


We hear about crimes, dead bodies, secrets you would never imagine, and you sit there unflinchingly sipping a latte. Nothing you hear bothers you, because you've heard it all. But when we hear “affair”, we know to wear the football helmet and shoulder pads, because this game is gonna be ugly.



This is why no one talks about 'the affair': the damage they cause, the pain they inflict, the lives they destroy, why they occur, why they even hurt, and so on. We all know that ever since the first love from high school took off to a different college and three months in stopped answering their phone, we feel our first moment of betrayal. The pacing starts, the sweating starts, you can't wait until the next time off to confront them, but damn, you get wise to the pain it inflicts as fast as you became wise to the pleasure of that first kiss. We learn the ugly twists of love early on, and then spend the rest of our lives trying to protect ourselves. Institutions are built around it. Scorner or Scorned, we all stop the sobbing and the fight, point to the swingers, and say, “Oh, will you shut up!"


If this sounds like a dynamic red hot cinder for a play, you're right. That play is called “Private Eyes” and is running thru November 9th at Shakespeare & Co. After wrapping up a spectacular season of celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birthday, we are confronted head on with a play that chills us more than the ice bucket challenge. If you want a dynamic, spell-binding, fast- paced and wicked internal portrayal of the ultimate betrayal, by golly, you've come to the right place.


I refuse to do a plot giveaway, so the plot synopsis is brief.


Lisa (Caroline Calkins) is married to Mathew (Luke Reed), and they are both actors under the direction of Adrian (Marcus Kearns). Lisa has an affair with Adrian. The stage is set, part of the way, through the eyes of a therapist (Lori Evans). Someone hires a private investigator (Elizabeth 'Lily' Cardaropoli.)


And that's all I'm telling you.


This is a play within a play, with so many twists and turns, more detail will kill the surprises.


This script is five star. It hits more hot buttons of love, betrayal, emotion and marriage than a library of Harlequin novels. Caroline Calkins with her sparkly smile is well cast and does a splendid job, but she is in wonderful company. Luke Reed comes alive in Act II when the betrayal sets in and Marcus Kearnes, a new kid on the block, has you saying “Damn—how did I miss Romeo and Juliet?


The cutting edge emotion is so point blank and direct, I do wonder why this is presented as a play within a play, other than to teach us quickly to trust no one and be en guard to where love takes you—the same lesson we learned in high school. This piece is the ultimate dissection of the affair, the pain and the forgiveness. The decision to tell, the decision to live with it, delivered with spine chilling authenticity. But is there too much going on to baffle the audience? Why the play within a play, despite such a powerful script? The Shakespeare crowd can handle it. We get great theater; that's why we come here.


--Richard DiMaggio, didyouweekend.com


“Private Eyes”, by Steven Dietz

directed by Jonathan Croy


Caroline Calkins

Elizabeth Cardaropoli

Lori Evans

Marcus Kearns

Luke Reed


The best estimates are that about 3% to 4% of currently married people have a sexual partner besides their spouse in a given year and about 15% to 18% of ever-married people have had a sexual partner other than their spouse while married.”



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