Jack (Quentin Brainard) is the likable but burned-out supervisor, somewhat exasperatedly introducing us to the apartment-mates, each with his own unique and engaging character. Jerry Ciarlino is wonderful as the hectic, obsessive compulsive Arnold, endlessly explaining himself. Mike Windnagle brings a chubby, lovestruck charm focused on doughnuts, keys, and his girlfriend Sheila, the endearing Jessica Hickey. Artis White is adorable as the childlike Lucien, who, at one point, steps out of his disability into an imaginary moment of articulate reason to let us know what is going on inside. Spencer Perrenoud is hilarious as the easily agitated schizophrenic golf-obsessed Barry — switching from comedy to tragedy with the visit of his long-absent, abusive father (Mike Cole).
This is a strangely touching play that gives us a peek into the world of mental illness and offers a sense of our shared humanity.
The Boys Next Door continues through January 24, 8pm Fri/Sat; 3pm Sun