Dinner With Friends, March 15 – 25

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dinnerDinner with Friends (Ages 12 and older)
Out Front on Main
1511 E. Main St., Murfreesboro
869-8617 • outfrontonmain.com
Show times: Thu – Sun 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students

Out Front on Main celebrates its second anniversary with an outstanding production of Donald Margulies’ Dinner with Friends.

It’s no surprise that Margulies won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for this drama given the twists and turns it takes. On the surface, it seems as if it’s about the breakup of the marriage between Tom (Bryce Damuth) and Beth (Molly Breen), but at the core, the real story is what’s happening to their best friends, Gabe (Tony Hortert) and Karen (Holly Amber). Turns out, Gabe and Karen are the real victims.

The play brilliantly puts forth the expectations existing in relationships and deftly depicts the nuances of ones that unravel, both marriage partnerships and friendships as well. Not to mention the reality that there are two sides to every story, evident when Tom and Gabe share drinks at a Manhattan bar in Act II.

George W. Manus Jr.’s expert direction brings the drama to the forefront, especially in regard to the fact that the gravity existing with what’s not said speaks volumes over what is spoken.

While all four of the cast members do an exemplary job on stage, Damuth and Amber in particular nail the emotional elements of their characters with aplomb. Their delivery is real and endearing. They make you feel for them all the way.

One of the most powerful and poignant scenes happens at the end of Act I when Tom and Beth display the whole “rage is an aphrodisiac” element. It completely depicts the thin line between love and hate.

Whether you are in or out of a long-term relationship, this show will resonate with you, no doubt. Even the best relationships encounter their own struggles.

Out Front on Main’s Dinner with Friends is truly the best community theater production I’ve seen in a long, long time! And the power of this show certainly roots Out Front as a true gem of Rutherford County’s theater arena.

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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