The Realistic Joneses is a star driven one-act play about two couples who live in a small town in America “near some mountains” and all have the last name Jones. It does bring up the themes of grass is greener and never judge a book by its cover as two of the neighbours are new to town and both have their own set of personal challenges.
Australian star Toni Collette (Jennifer) displays inner conflict well, Michael C. Hall (John) from Dexter is quite charming and the most likeable character in the play, where as Marisa Tomei (Pony) is adorably vague almost to a fault and Tracy Letts (Bob) who wrote August: Osage County is sufficiently awkward for the part.
While all the performances were good, the script never really takes off. There are individual lines that are fantastic and are quite witty, but there isn’t any cohesion, which fails to make the dialogue realistic at all. The story itself is interesting, but as the play only goes for 90 minutes without interval you’re Kim of left wanting more, purely for closure and not because you want to spend more time with these characters.
The set is the external wall and door of a house with a mid tire of internal and external furniture and fittings scattered around. While the location of scenes was clear when the scene got going, there is too much detail that doesn’t build a scene or even create a motif for the themes conveyed. The concept is intending to be minimalist, but there is almost too much set that it distracts from the brilliant acting.
The play is in by no means bad, in fact it’s entertaining and I enjoyed watching it, it just never gets a chance to spread its wings and reach its full potential and you can’t help but think that the reason why it’s on Broadway is because of the billing.