Private Eyes Reviews

San Francisco Bay Guardian:  “…an indeed spare but worthy production”

Somebody in Steven Dietz’s Private Eyes has a problem with the truth, but it would be unfair to tell you who since finding out is half the fun of this 1996 play about trust, suspicion, and betrayal among lovers (a venerable theme, to be sure, and a veritable subspecialty of this particular American playwright). Suffice it to say, then, that all is not as it seems when husband-and-wife acting team Matthew (a likeable Jason Jeremy) and Lisa (a gradually potent Sarah Meyeroff) begin rehearsing a new play under the direction of a handsome Brit (a solid Aaron Murphy) with a barely concealed fixation on his leading lady. By the time a mysterious woman in dark glasses (a sharp and magnetic Holly Silk) appears with a purse full of airline wine — not to mention a two-timing shrink named, unlikely enough, Frank (a gracefully comic Richard Ryan) — the layers of deceit have already been shuffled and reshuffled several times over. Directed with requisite snap by Stephen Drewes, Spare Stage mounts an indeed spare but worthy production of an enjoyable play whose theme and Chinese-box structure, while never quite cutting to the bone, effectively cross Harold Pinter’s Betrayal with Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing.

—Robert Avila