Jane (Kelli Holsopple) is so insecure she leaves the lights on when she goes out "so everything's how I remember it when I get back." Desperate for assurance, she leads on a smitten male co-worker (Eric Kuehnemann) even though she has a live-in lover, the arrogant Tosh (Jenny Greer). Tosh is so controlling she won't even let Jane indulge her taste for guilty pleasure movies and comfort food. ("She caught me once, on a Cactus Flower and Tater Tot night.") Lacking confidence, Jane puts up with the emotional abuse.
Meanwhile, Danny (Josh Tyson), a sweet-natured, gauntly handsome waiter, has far too little ambition to satisfy his old friend Alex (Michael Cyril Creighton), who also happens to be Tosh's partner at a public relations firm. Danny toys with the idea of graduate school, without a clear idea of what he might want to study. But the two PR pros have cooked up a novel plan for the shiftless Jane and Danny, who have never met: have them get married while publicly avowing their homosexuality, thereby calling attention to the absurdity of laws that grant two opposite-sex strangers the benefits of marriage while denying the same benefits to a loving, committed same-sex couple.
If I were writing about a sitcom, the next sentence would naturally be: "Hilarity ensues." But playwright Delaney Britt Brewer has serious things to say here, though they're not the ones you might expect. Speckled with funny moments and clever dialogue, the play is fundamentally about how unexpected, and how unstorybooklike, love can be. With its topical plot, flawed and fully realized characters, and direction as smooth and transparent as glass, it is both timely and universal.
Unafraid of controversy, Brewer digs into the complexities of emotions and gay identity. As Jane and Danny develop mutual affection, Alex - whose own feelings for Danny may be deeper than he has let on - lashes out at his friend for betraying the cause. But how much is love responsible for the plan's backfiring, and how much is it Alex and Tosh's just desserts for manipulating their friends for a "higher" cause? Danny finds the guts to defend himself: "Don't try to stop it because it doesn't fit your image. That would be the ultimate malevolence."