Not Your Everyday Love Problems at Edge Theatre

Edge Theatre's two one-act comedies The Pattern and The Problem are not your archetypal love stories. And that's a good thing. The Pattern sees a young girl seeking professional help and advice in her relationship with a man she's met online. And while she's had her history of bad relationships that can be tracked down to a pattern of weirdos she keeps attracting, this one relationship is particularly askew. Her new boyfriend, it turns out, is a vampire. Meanwhile, The Problem showcases a kind of off-kilter couples' long and strange road to how exactly the Missus got knocked up.

The Problem, written by A.R. Gurney, is a sort of a marital exploration in the absurd, as a married couple track down the exact point of their conception, while trying to figure out whether the baby is even the husband's or not. The tale takes several comical unexpected turns that eventually reveal some not-so-normal secrets about this otherwise seemingly normal couple. 

The Problem is the weaker script of the two plays, but features better performances between the two. As the husband, Robert Ramos is hilariously obtuse and absent minded while Samantha Newman tows a fine line of devoted housewife and possible adulteress with comical results.

In a sort of not-so-coincidental kick in the ass to the Twilight series of books and films, The Pattern, written by Brian Harris, tells the tale of Sunny and her beau, the enigmatic Sergei, and their ongoing relationship problems. 

For the most part, the problem is that Sergei is a 1500-year old vampire who has yet to meet his one true mate. And Sunny needs to find out of she's the one. While the story is captivating and humorous, the production could use help performance-wise. The acting is not bad. Just subdued. And a story like this needs a more buoyant performance from its cast. Jody Owen is very good as the doctor who tries to help the couple, while Matthew Patrick Donovan is perfectly cast as Sergei the vampire. Liz Barrientos is adequate as Sunny, but needs more practice.

Look for our full review in this week's issue.

Two Comedies (The Problem and The Pattern) at Edge Theatre's stage in the Miami Design District (4141 NE Second Ave., Miami) runs through February 19 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Tickets cost at the door for $20 ($15 for seniors, $10 for students with ID). Call 305-316-5221.

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Chris Joseph