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THE WAY IT IS Alleyway Theatre Cabaret/Alleyway Theatre
Aug 2, 2023, 12:17
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Through August 6
THE WAY IT IS Buffalo Infringement Festival/Alleyway Theatre Cabaret

By Augustine Warner

“Sometimes relationships go well and sometimes they don’t and sometimes they go really bad, not true crime TV bad, but bad.
The relationship of Yasmine (Colleen Pine) and Cane (Jacob Applegate) in Donna Hoke’s “The Way It Is” runs somewhere between bad and awful and has already broken up.
They were together for eight years and engaged for four of those before breaking up.
Now, Cane has moved on to a relationship with another woman.
He’s come back to their old apartment to pick up his “stuff,” which Yasmine has held on to.
Clearly, she’s expecting him back.
Early on, it’s clear that she’s over-the-top on the need to get Cane back so she can have a child with him, the break point in the relationship.
On his side, he desperately wants one item of his “stuff.”
You wonder how these two got together and why they stayed together.
Yasmine comes across as someone worth a first date and not eight years.
Pine plays the scenes of this production as sharp and controlling.
Clearly based on director Sabrina Kahwaty’s orders, Pine plays obnoxious and controlling, reminding me of an old boss of mine.
It’s almost a chess match on the stage of the Alleyway Theatre Cabaret, until the final and key event in the play, which you will have to see the play to find out.
The pairing reminds me of Elmwood Avenue conversations in my drinking days: What keeps them together?
That’s the question Hoke is exploring, looking at relationships and what starts them and what keeps them going.
While this is a 70-minute play, it would be even better paired with a first act of the two originally meeting and hooking up, perhaps a Harold Pinter view.
Since Hoke was there the night I saw the show, director and actors had the benefit of what she was looking for on stage.
That means Yasmine dominates the show while Cane is just trying to get his stuff and move on to the new woman in his life.
It’s a very human story, partners and then enemies.
Just “The Way It is.”
See it.

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