Thanks to Twitter, Instagram stories and Facebook Live, it’s easy for all of us to be stars of our own making. But what happens when five individuals accustomed to being solo performers have to share the spotlight?
That’s the question at the center of the Bridge Production Group’s staging of “See You,” the sleek but soulless play by Québécois playwright Guillaume Corbeil, at the New Ohio Theater.
The five characters, referred to as numbers in the script, remain nameless throughout, but like social-media celebrities, have distinctive personalities.
Before we know much about them, they all recite their stats and rattle off their interests. One (Adriane Moreno) is into hip-hop and spa days. Two (Christina Toth) loves strings of pearls and lemon vodkas. Three (Crawford M. Collins) really appreciates Indian food and Woody Allen, which elicits a groan from Four (Charlie Reid), whose motto is “art for art’s sake.”
The seemingly aloof Five (Hamish Allan-Headley) declares he has no style, and is too busy with the Beatles’s “Come Together” stuck in his head to pay attention to the others.
Given color-coded looks by the costume designer Nicole Allen, each is an archetype for the kind of social-media influencer we look to for advice — on art, sex, music, fitness and that ambiguous umbrella term, “lifestyle.”
But we never really find out what brings them together. All they share is their obsession with themselves, and sharing their every move on smartphones.
If the setup, and Max Hunter’s clinical direction, suggests an insufferable reality-show pilot — or a millennial live-action version of the personified emotions in Pixar’s “Inside Out” — Mr. Corbeil labors to reveal the characters’ humanity in his script.
But only One and Two are given anything resembling an arc, as we discover the dangerous situations their alcoholism and pill-popping, respectively, lead them to. It all comes uncomfortably close to after-school special territory: Spend too much time on social media, and you, too, will become a sex addict (or die).
The characters are also constantly name-dropping; “See You” is a bit like being stuck with friends who practically tie you to a chair to show you every single picture they took on vacation.
You won’t want to reach for your smartphone for a few hours after seeing this one.
Through Sept. 21 at New Ohio Theater, Manhattan; 866-811-4111, bridgeproductiongroup.org. Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes.
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