If I Can’t Have You Then Nobody Can
Reviewer: Sara Lopez
Playwright/Director, Ty Lowman made his New York City at The Producer’s Club’s Sonnet Theater on Saturday, December 16th to a packed house with his latest work, If I Can’t Have You Then Nobody Can.
Chaos ensues when Dorian Phillips, powerfully played by emerging young actor, Victor Landol, is visited by an old flame disguised as Sharita, one of his pals’ new love interest. Dorian, a happily married young man, begins to learn, as the tale unfolds, that Sharita is actually Marguerita – as he once knew her, has come back into his life with one sole purpose in mind – to put an end to his 12-year marriage with his loving wife (a commanding performance by Alyssa Baines for sure, Ms. Baines anchors the cast), and have him once and for all to herself. The audience learns early on that Dorian’s friend, Wes, played by Ron Denson, whose powerful stage presence turns this supporting role into an emotional tour-de-force, has met Sherita through a popular social media site, “Lookpage.” The audience later finds that “Sherita” is the classic “psycho ex,” played to the hilt by Casandra King, whose machinations create gasps and shouts from the engaged crowd. A great plot twist has her not just a past lover of Dorian, but an old schoolmate of them all as well, who was secretly obsessed with him and managed to track him down through his friends who, ironically, tout the benefits of “Lookpage.”
From the first scene, the talented cast invites the audience with ease into Dorian and Brandy’s living room, where most of the action takes place, and indeed, brings the characters to life through moments of humor and poignancy in which love and trust are tested and restored.
Throughout the drama’s abundant serious and touching moments, there are equal measures of hilarity and comic relief, brought to the audience by the entire cast, as well as Ty Lowman’s smart and engaging dialogue. Roger and Keisha, our leading couple’s close friends and dysfunctional, yet, cute couple, are played brilliantly by Eugene Daniels and Elizabeth Brooks, provide us with many funny moments, as well as the subplot of their own relationship and unfounded trust issues on Keisha’s part.
Supporting roles were played by very talented people as well. Taqualla Lowman, the play’s assistant director, lifts us with her small, yet, precious role as a sister from the local church who belts out a soul-stirring gospel song about faith and redemption as Dorian falls to his knees, when everything seems to be coming apart for him; and Renald Jean-Philippe gave a strong showing as the nameless officer charged with carrying out a portion of Sharita’s master plan.
A fun, modern take on relationships, If I Can’t Have You Then Nobody Can, is an enjoyable commentary on our current age of social media and the sometimes serious problems and misunderstandings these social sites can bring into our lives.
Like any good parable, lessons are learned in this witty, entertaining and refreshing play by Ty Lowman. Mr. Lowman succeeds by leaps and bounds in penning and directing for a most accessible and enjoyable experience. Here’s to more.
Sara Lopez is a writer and photographer for several New York arts blogs. This review marks the start of her position as contributing writer for Drama-Queens.