The Park Avenue duplex at the heart of The Engagement Party has emerged as a true standout. Scenic designer Alexander Dodge’s artistic touch has brought this New York City apartment to Instagram-worthy life. The play, written by Samuel Baum, offers a mildly amusing portrayal of the hidden secrets and deceptions lurking beneath the glamorous facade of high-achieving lives.
A Grand Celebration
The story unfolds as Katherine (played by Bella Heathcote) and Josh (portrayed by Jonah Platt) celebrate their engagement in this stunning duplex. Their opulent home sets the stage for an evening filled with glamour and anticipation. The guest list includes Katherine’s old-money WASP parents and a group of close friends, all hailing from none other than Harvard.
A Fairy Tale Setting?
From the outside, it appears to be a fairy tale romance set in the heart of New York City, almost too good to be true. Josh, a hedge fund prince, seems to be living the dream with his substantial yearly bonuses. However, as the story unfolds, it’s clear that his background is far from privileged. He grew up in a gritty part of Brooklyn, proud of his working-class Jewish roots. An unexpected guest from his past, Johnny, adds a twist to the engagement party.
The Art of Arranging
Katherine thrives on the art of arranging, whether it’s the perfect table setting or assembling a diverse group of party guests. However, in the world of drama, such perfection is often a precursor to chaos.
A Mildly Amusing Comedy
The Engagement Party, which premiered at the Geffen Playhouse, is a comedy that’s been likened to Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. It exposes the façade of bourgeois civility but maintains a level of restraint. While characters may express their fury through shoves, the play refrains from full-blown aggression.
The play’s writing exudes a sitcom-like friendliness, with each character embodying a particular social tag. The clashes between these distinct personalities are meticulously developed, and the plot maintains a steady buildup throughout the 80-minute duration.
Delightful Yet Shallow
The craftsmanship is neat and punctual, making it a comfortable watch for audiences accustomed to familiar television formulas. However, the play’s lack of sufficient tension prevents it from delving too deeply.
The female characters, though less defined, offer a more intriguing side to the story. Gail, Katherine’s mother, grapples with serious health concerns, while Haley, a medical researcher, battles with depression and the challenges of motherhood. These characters offer a refreshing escape from the clichéd qualities of the male characters.
Missing Engagement Ring
The plot hinges on a $300,000 engagement ring that mysteriously disappears after being passed around the dinner table for admiration. This leads to a detective story with an Agatha Christie vibe, as potential culprits are scrutinized. However, the stakes never seem quite high enough, leaving the audience less invested in Josh and Katherine’s designer-label union.
Architectural Eye Candy
The play relies heavily on the architectural allure of its turntable set, which seamlessly transitions between the swank living room, state-of-the-art kitchen, and the upstairs guest bedroom.
NYC duplex is the star of the mildly amusing ‘The Engagement Party’ stands out as an entertaining production with a beautiful backdrop. While it offers moments of amusement and intrigue, it ultimately leaves the audience yearning for more substantial depth in the characters and storyline.
Discovering the Intriguing: Things to Capture Your Attention
Where to have a midtown New York engagement party?
The ideal venue for your midtown New York engagement party is The Skylark. This classically-styled cocktail lounge offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Hudson River, The Empire State Building, and the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Your party, set against this backdrop, will provide you and your guests with vistas even A-listers would envy!
Who is ‘the engagement party’ star Samuel Baum?
At the heart of "The Engagement Party" is the talented playwright Samuel Baum. He brings to life a Park Avenue duplex, skillfully transformed into an Instagram-worthy setting by scenic designer Alexander Dodge. In his mildly amusing comedy, Baum delves into the world of high-achieving lives, exposing the secrets and deceptions hidden just beneath the surface.
Who is Johnny in the engagement party?
Johnny, a boisterous presence akin to a Brooklyn bull in the refined setting of Manhattan, is introduced as the potential disruptor of the extravagant gathering. With his candid and unpolished demeanor, he seems poised to wreak havoc on the lavish affair. Surprisingly, Josh’s oldest friend emerges as a steadfast and unwavering character, surprising the audience with his unexpected depth. Jonah Platt and Richard Bekins bring Johnny’s character to life in "The Engagement Party" at the Geffen Playhouse.
What’s so special about New York City’s famous skyline?
The allure of New York City’s renowned skyline lies in the breathtaking vistas it offers from over 12 stories above the bustling streets. This vantage point provides a stunning view of Manhattan’s iconic skyline, with the venue spanning 1,950 square feet and featuring elegant seated dining areas. Additionally, it offers a diverse range of options for cocktail receptions, making it a truly special experience.
What is a duplex apartment in New York City?
In New York City, a duplex apartment refers to a single-family residence with rooms spanning two floors, connected by an internal stairway or elevator. These apartments are characterized by a minimum ceiling height of 8 feet, ensuring spacious living. To get a better understanding of what a duplex looks like, you can refer to the floorplan image below.
What is a side by side duplex?
A side by side duplex, also referred to as a semi-detached house, is a common housing configuration in densely populated areas like Manhattan and downtown Chicago. In this setup, a duplex or duplex apartment, known as a maisonette, constitutes a single dwelling unit spanning two floors, connected by an indoor staircase. Likewise, a triplex apartment describes a residential unit extending across three floors.
How did duplexes first come to the NYC real estate market?
The origins of duplexes in the NYC real estate market remain somewhat uncertain. However, they made a notable entrance into the headlines with the release of the last luxury prewar apartment building in the 1930s. Situated at 19 East 72nd Street, this building featured a higher number of duplexes compared to any other floor plan option.
What is a duplex in the UK?
In the United Kingdom, the term duplex is commonly employed by property professionals like architects and estate agents. It typically denotes a flat or apartment that spans two floors and is internally connected by a staircase. It’s worth noting that modern designs often incorporate open-plan layouts, occasionally featuring mezzanine levels.