Chad L. Coleman and Beau Garrett star in SAUGERTIES, a play by Susan Eve Haar and directed by Abigail Zealey Bess. The play takes place in a remote B&B where, in the first act, one couple struggles through their toxic relationship. Then in the second act, a similar couple and 25 years later, struggle through the secrets that might break them.
The play was 90 minutes of extreme vulnerability, Garrett and Coleman transformed themselves into each role and easily made themselves relatable to the audience. In the first act, we meet Jen (Garrett) and Rog (Coleman), a couple celebrating their 10-year anniversary. They’re struggling with the fact that Jen is infertile and we see how her need for a baby has caused her to fall into a deep depression.
The dialogue perfectly showcased the frustration of a toxic relationship; to see Jen struggling to be heard by Rog felt personally infuriating. I found myself wanting to yell back at Rog, which is truly a testament to Coleman and his dedication to the character. Garrett, perfectly timed out Jen’s unraveling through the first act. I constantly found myself feeling like I was invading their privacy, their moments felt so intimate and real with the chemistry radiating off of the stage.
Admittedly, I found it a bit more difficult to connect with the second act. This is where we meet a second couple, similar to the first but with their own set of issues. Maybe I struggled to connect because the journey to the climax felt rushed, but nonetheless Garrett and Coleman still found the humanity in two characters that carry painful baggage.
SAUGERTIES felt like a beautiful exploration of the human condition. Chad L. Coleman and Beau Garrett connected in a very real way and their energy was palpable. They perfectly portrayed the complexities of each of their characters while still keeping you connected to the storyline. The experience was definitely worth it and I’d try to catch it before it’s limited run is over.
SAUGERTIES is playing now through September 8th at the Hudson Guild Theater in Los Angeles.