Print this Page

NY Theater Reviews

Halley Feiffer and Adam Green/PH: Carol Rosegg

A CINCH IN TIME

By Sandy MacDonald

Jenny Lyn Bader's None of the Above could easily slide in to a slot on the small screen. So what's it doing on stage in the first place?

My in-depth knowledge of TV dramas devoted to the angst of affluent teenagers - from Beverly Hills 90210 through The O.C. and the latest entry, Gossip Girls - is not something I'm proud of. It does, however, qualify me to assess the cliche quotient of the genre's theatrical counterpart, and Jenny Lyn Bader's eminently tube-worthy None of the Above hits every mark. Parents super-rich but remote? Check. Geek packing surprise sex appeal? Ditto. Clubbing and drugging as a matter of course? Of course.

What little panache None of the Above has going for it is attributable to Halley Feiffer (daughter of cartoonist/playwright Jules). Her vocal range may be limited to a high-pitched half-octave, and she'll have to learn to act with more than her forearms, but she has an appealing coltish quality as Jamie, a spoiled, lazy, but secretly smart Upper East Sider prepping for the SATs under the tutelage of a Kaplan whiz - over-obviously named Clark (Adam Green) - determined that she achieve a perfect score.

If you can't figure out, faster than Jamie does, why Clark is so keen on the outcome (more than enough hints are dropped), you'd better brush up on Comprehension. The play is nothing if not well-made: every single development, including the boyfriend-ex-machina finale, is carefully mapped out in such a way that even minimal attention to key words will steer you to the right prognostication. The only remaining question is why this occasionally clever but ultimately pro forma exercise didn't go straight to film or TV, the media for which it was so clearly designed.