This story begins, as many stories have done before it, with a teenage girl (Nina), whose mother has gone into rehab due to alcoholism and who, as a result, has now been forced to move in with her distant father. Due to a best friend with an eating disorder and access to drugs, as well as an unusual and unwise choice of support, (i.e. a stranger she meets at Starbucks) much drama ensues for this teenager, then escalates and dies down in an unrealistically tidy way.
Two tables with two chairs on either side of the stage: one set is in Nina’s dad’s apartment, the other is in Starbucks - the two most significant places in Nina’s journey during the play. The play opens with Nina (Dev Brand) smoking a cigarette in her school uniform in her father’s apartment and her flustered, estranged father (David Lamberton) coming home and, to his surprise, finding her there. The father-daughter exchange that follows establishes their characters quite well but contains patronisingly obvious exposition and unnatural dialogue and falls into bland expression on both ends. Contrastingly, the interaction between Nina and her best friend Liz (Carolyn Cutillo) is much more natural, humorous and better performed. In addition the initial dialogue between Phillip (Nick Palladino) and Nina is also very natural and intriguing, drawn in as you are (along with Nina) to Phillip’s quiet intelligence and calm.
Whilst there were some very interesting scenes: some sexy, some violent and many intense, for the most part these were balanced by inconsistent plot development, clichéd twists and turns and overkill on dramatic events. Some moments of powerful writing and some moments of strong performances make this play somewhat more interesting in places than its unoriginal subject matter. Although none of these storylines are ones that you haven’t seen or heard before and many moments are rather predictable, this play has its enjoyable and redeemable points, so go and see it for those, if not for anything else.