3C: The Not So Good Old Days

Epic is rounding out their summer of satire — where life truly has imitated art — with David Adjmi’s embroiled show 3C.  The show, which runs in rep with Kevin Broccoli’s Dorothy, Rose, Sophia & Blanche is not what you think it is … which is exactly what Epic is hoping for with this piece!

Continuing to play on our penchant for sitcoms of yesterday, 3C takes a familiar premise, Three’s Company, and puts a different spin on it. Instead of a Jack Tripper, a culinary student who is a bachelor and is pretending to be a gay man, we have Brad, home from the war, going to culinary school and struggling with being a gay man in a time where the f-word was heard frequently in public without a second thought. The landlord is a predator, with a penchant for throwing out gay slurs. Without giving too much away, the characters are turned inside out and given a magnifying glass to expose the blatant sexism that existed in this show. It is not a Three’s Company reunion or reboot, rather a scathing indictment on what was considered the norm for that time period. And although some may scoff and say, “What is the point of writing a show like that now?” let me remind you, dear readers, that this type of injustice happened in our lifetimes. I remember watching Three’s Company –– without syndication. Our society disparaged our LGBT community and women on network television not that long ago. (And let’s admit that we still don’t treat women or our LGBT community with the respect that we treat our straight white men, but I digress.)

Frequently we lament that things aren’t what they used to be (a particular ill-used campaign slogan comes to mind) and it’s fine to be nostalgic, but this show points out that those times weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

The script is … weird at times. However, under Christopher Crider-Plonka’s direction, the script does find its way and leaves you thinking. I can imagine that with another director, one who didn’t clearly take so much care with his work, that this play would fall flat.

There also is a stellar cast. Aaron Blanck was moving as Brad, which made Derek Smith’s Terry even more jarring. Steph Rodger’s Connie was played truthfully, and not as an airhead, and Katrina Rossi did a fantastic job as Linda, the play’s version of the Janet character. Joining these fine actors are Geoff White and Jill D. Jones, the unhappily married landlords, the Wickers. They played these difficult roles as you would expect theater veterans would — great job!

There are some very funny moments in this show and some uncomfortable moments due to the nature of what is going on. But uncomfortable is not bad. Uncomfortable makes you think. And Epic is holding talkbacks after the performances so you have time to digest with your fellow theatergoers. If you’re willing to forget your preconceived notions, run down to Epic Theatre for 3C before it closes. 

3C plays in rep with Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, & Blanche until August 19 at Academy Players 180 Buttonhole Drive, PVD. Visit their online box office at epic3c.bpt.me.  

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