“Afterglow,” a new one-act, three-character play, written and directed by S. Asher Gelman, opened during the summer, at the Loft at the Davenport Theatre, in the theater district. I caught up with the work this month and it has, at this writing, been extended through January 24, 2018. Josh (Brandon Haagenson) and Alex (Joe Chisholm) are a couple in an open relationship and fatherhood, by surrogacy, is impending. Darius (Patrick Reilly) is their trick of the moment, who becomes more than that to Josh. Relationships are examined under the microscope and tempers flare. Love isn’t easy. In this engaging play, as in life, there’s nudity, erotic, playful, and casual. The guys look good and at least one of them is breathtaking.
On Josh’s agenda, beside love, lust, and the baby-to-be, is his production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Alex’s chemistry studies keep him busy. Darius, the youngest, works as a masseur and is trying to make it in New York City. Haagenson conveys Josh’s overwhelming, extravagant, and utterly joyful affection and neediness with flair. Cautious in contrast, Chisholm smolders with Alex’s anger, jealousy, and resentment, convincing us that, every inch the butch drama queen, he’s got issues. Reilly’s Darius is innocence personified, courting disappointment by getting involved with a married man. L words—love and loan, of a husband and of cash—come roaring up in Josh and Darius’ increasingly problematic liaison.
Ann Beyersdorfer designed the unit set that, with rearrangement of the set pieces, becomes Josh and Alex’s apartment—their bedroom and their roof—and Darius’ apartment—with massage table and shower. Fabian Fidel Aguilar devised the cast’s states of dress and undress and Jamie Roderick lit them.
“Afterglow” plays Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm and Thursdays through Sundays at 8 pm, with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm. The theater is located at 354 West 45th Street. For further information about “Afterglow,” visit www.afterglowtheplay.com
. For tickets, priced from $69.50 to $99.50, visit www.Telecharge.com.