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“Julia & Buddy” at the Midtown International Theatre Festival at the Jewel Box Theatre (Closes Saturday August 2, 2014)

Claire Warden and Matthew DeCapua - Photo by Linda Jaquez
“Julia & Buddy” at the Midtown International Theatre Festival at the Jewel Box Theatre (Closes Saturday August 2, 2014)
Written and Directed by N. G. McClernan
Reviewed by Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited

The bare stage at the Jewel Box Theatre, one of the venues for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, does not deter the new play “Julia & Buddy from instantly making it a playground for wit, intellect, and heartfelt affection as two actors inhabit the stage and begin their ninety minute banter. Claire Warden playing Julia and Buddy inhabited by Matthew DeCapua seem to capture and understand the age old quip that “opposites attract” and give evidence of proof to this notion with exceptional clarity. The panic ridden philosopher and the forgetful maintenance man are the perfect example of the odd couple: each examines her or his actions carefully, peeling away shallow facades and gently exposing their sensitive cores. Both actors manage to appear real and in control and never waver from an honest and truthful performance. Ms. Warden is strong, mindful and focused, yet frail, vulnerable and distracted and always tempts the audience to wonder about her path and intent - always with a distinct emotional investment. Mr. DeCapua is a pleasure to watch as he morphs into impressions of unseen pertinent characters. He produces a character study which is complex, precise, honest and filled with integrity, resulting in a sensitive portrait of a hopeful soul with fractured dreams and the will to survive. They are generous actors providing for each other and allowing the audience to enter their intimate world, always searching for creative ways to establish an emotional connection.

The writing by N.G. McClernan is quick, intelligent, purposeful and entertaining, never wasting words. Her script provides fuel for the actors allowing them to cruise at full speed never faltering or second guessing their commitment. As director, she knows her voice and characters well, taking all opportunities to squeeze every morsel of emotional energy from each verbal encounter. It would be worth the while to treat yourself to this little gem and witness some fresh, new and interesting New York theatre.


“Julia & Buddy” is presented by Mergatroyd Productions in association with The Midtown International Theatre Festival. Director: N. G. McClernan. The creative team includes: Katie Kavett (Stage Manager); Renee Cole (Shopenhauer Costume Creator). Publicist: Tony White/Double Down Productions and Jay Michaels at WrightGroupNY Communications.

The cast includes Matthew DeCapua (Buddy) and Claire Warden (Julia).

The Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF)'s fifeenth season will include a slate of full-length plays and musicals, as well as Cabaret MITF. The Festival will run from July 14th to August 10th 2014, at the June Havoc Theatre and the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre (1st floor), the Jewel Box Theater (4th floor), and the TBG Theatre (Main Stage) all located at 312 West 36th Street, NYC. Tickets are $18.00 to $20.00 and are available at or by phone at (866) 811-4111.

“Julia & Buddy” continues its run at the Jewel Box Theater (see above) on Sunday July 27th at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday August 2nd at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $18.00 (see above). The running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.
Permalink | Posted by David Roberts on Sunday, July 20, 2014