Perception is everything. How we see the world and the people around us is subjective to our point of view. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to, instead of walking in someone else’s shoes, to see through someone else’s eyes? In No. 11 Production’s The Eyes of Orbach, two men do just that. Only their lens happens to be legendary actor Jerry Orbach’s eyes. Inspired by the New York ad about Orbach’s factual donation of his eyes, two New Yorkers who are in need of new eyes are given new sight on love, happiness, and life.
The heart of the story was about Billy and Paul falling in love. Was their love at first sight simply because they could see themselves in the other person? There was a big a narcissism, and added humor, as both leads, Steven Conroy and Scott Raymond Johnson, looked like they could be twins. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and no ones more beautiful than yourself! Conroy and Johnson had impeccable chemistry as Paul and Billy respectively. You couldn’t help but falling for their relationship. Conroy was the heart while Johnson was the rock. Johnson’s Billy was resilient and wanted him to come to his senses during his whacky nightmare. While Billy and Paul were the focal point of the play, there were some other key performances. Julie Congress as the Eye Doctor was a wonderful eye into this world. She was fun and playful in her omnipotence. Marie Claire Roussel as Iris was a spitfire. Though occasionally drawing too much focus, she added an extra bout of excitement.
Director Ryan Emmons cleverly explored the world with simplicity. Some of the props were not as successful as others due to their clunkiness, but overall it worked. The device of breaking the fourth wall was smart and wanted to be incorporated even more. The integration of the audience would have helped remind us that this could be our New York love story too. Emmons’, who also served as sound designer, only downfall happened to be the sound design. Overall, the soundtacked was overpowering and distracting at moments. While it evoked the romcom feel, it just didn’t mesh properly.
The Eyes of Orbach is the perfect date night theatrical romcom with a helping dash of insight. With a little more work and stability, The Eyes of Orbach will have a future.