Though Patrick Marber’s Closer first premiered in 1997—which is actually hard to believe was a full 26 years ago—there is still much that is compelling and even shocking about this dark, sadistic twist on a classic rom-com set up that you can catch for one more weekend at the Lake Worth Playhouse. A meet-cute car accident connects an obituary writer aspiring to become a novelist (Dan) and a sensual waif with a mysterious past (Alice) and the two soon strike up a romance. Her past becomes the inspiration for the book he goes on to write, but when sparks fly between him and the photographer tasked with taking his picture for the jacket, Anna, he can’t resist the temptation. Despite the fact that Dan then accidentally orchestrates a relationship between Anna and Larry, the doctor who tended to Alice after her car accident, the two sneakily continue an affair until all four participants in this mad game of relational do-si-do are inextricably intertwined.
As someone whose mind tends to wander, this is the rare play I found fully absorbing almost from the start, thanks to a scintillating, scorching, and generally quite fascinating collection of characters and circumstances.
Above-par dialogue is filled with a plethora of imminently quotable lines, and the extent to which the play was infused with sexuality, an atmosphere Director Trish Weaver Rhodes does an admirable job of creating, also made it an unusually interesting watch. After all, suspense is sexy, and sexiness is suspenseful; bodies themselves are powder kegs, with passion often destined to explode.