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Veritas Wine in St. Pete

“Vino Veritas” stars (left to proper) Andrew Hughes as Phil, Trish Parry as Lauren, Tracey Reynolds as Claire, and Larry Bukovey as Ridley.
Studio Grand Central

Strolling into the “Vino Veritas” set at Studio Grand Central, you notice the stage is actually a middle-class lounge. It is Halloween night time, therefore the acquainted decorations and half-guzzled bottles of booze sitting on a dresser.

It would not really feel like a manufacturing is about to start; it feels such as you’re the one ready for friends and wishing you’d purchased a dearer sofa. It is acquainted, it is intimate, it is truly slightly awkward, and it is all deliberately performed by director Stephen Ray.

Watching the 4 actors [Trish Parry as Lauren, Andrew Hughes as Phil, Larry Bukovey as Ridley, and Tracey Reynolds as Claire] try to impress one another, combat, and be usually unlike-able appears like actual life.

However the plot drew me in.

Two {couples} pre-game a Halloween celebration with a Peruvian delicacy: blue wine constituted of the pores and skin of blue dart frogs. The electrical blue liquid works as a fact serum, and Claire urges the celebration of 4 to drink it and get slightly extra uncooked than they do at their typical hangouts.

These individuals have clearly by no means performed medication earlier than. Who must guzzle an import from Peru to open their third eye? Nonetheless, I used to be drawn in by Lauren and Phil’s uncomfortable marital power.

Parry (Lauren) actually channels her exasperated state whereas delivering hilarious quips; Hughes (Phil) is lovable and horrible. these two individuals in actual life as a result of they’ve a traditional story. Mountain Dew-loving husband Phil desires to look at extra actuality TV and sink right into a sofa, however his bitch spouse, Lauren, is sick of it. They’re household photographers, however she longs for the times they traveled the world and photographed it. He is blissful proper the place he’s.

A blonde woman in a witch costume stars at a blue glass of wine
Parry performs the sad, witchy spouse of “Phil.” She makes the efficiency much more actual with each eye roll.
Studio Grand Central

They bicker for what appears like hours, and I am unable to look away. I need to pull up the material on my seat watching these two individuals argue earlier than their friends arrive. It is what each couple hopes their marriage would not grow to be, taking place proper in entrance of you.

Quickly, Claire and Ridley present up. These are two individuals you pray you aren’t getting caught speaking to at a celebration or chamber mixer, however you at all times do. Claire is obnoxious in her “virgin queen” costume and her husband de ella, Ridley is a smug physician who enjoys lengthy walks on the seashore, bragging, and sniffing at his wine glass with out actually consuming any.

When the group drinks the wine (shock!) secrets and techniques come to mild, and a blue mild settles on every of their silhouettes. It is a 55-minute two-part cut up that retains you engaged, laughing, and horrified all the time. High quality leisure, but it surely’s not with out flaws.

The actors, for essentially the most half, ship powerhouse performances, however they by no means actually let unfastened the best way a play this intimate needs to be. They insult, scream, and cry, but it surely solely goes to 80%. I needed extra from the actors. When Claire is tied up in makeshift bondage, I needed to actually see the veins on her neck de ella come out.

This forged of insane suburbanites makes it unattainable to look away.
Studio Grand Central

When Ridley admits to dishonest with Dutch prostitutes, I needed to see him cry with the worry and launch of being caught and let free from a lie. It is virtually there, but it surely wants a push.

I will not reveal the stunning ending, but it surely’s definitely worth the wait. Becoming for Halloween, with a component that makes us query the fashionable healthcare system and hope for Lauren and Phil to make it out of their dagger-lined rut.

It is value a watch, which made the dearth of viewers on opening night time a bit stunning.

All of us have slightly Claire, Ridley, Lauren, and Phil in us; the secret is to be trustworthy with your self about that. Clearly, not everybody received the memo. The largest factor to take from this, these characters have 99 issues and a frog wine fact serum is unquestionably one in all them.

Veritas Wine Studio Grand Central, 2260 1st Ave. S., St. Pete. Via Oct 9: Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 pm; Solar., 3 p.m. $35.

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