Some unimportant parts of Apartment 3A’s script have become subtly dated in its twelve-year sleep—“then and now” is the program’s pert dodge from committing to one time or another. The costumer sidestepped the issue too, choosing to date the play in some mythical era in which public-TV employees wore five-inch candy-apple-red heels to work. But eventually the characters bump into anachronisms. Annie seems more or less contemporary until she has a madly sarcastic on-camera breakdown while shilling for her TV station, a much-stolen plot device from the 1976 movie Network that must have seemed tired even ten years ago and now seems farcical. Another piece of the script has Annie darkly ruminating on terrorist threats, and it turns out she means Oklahoma City.
Those musty oddities are unrelated to Apartment 3A’s real story. Daniels’s subject is sex, seduction, and delusion, a grand trio in his scripts. It’s a well-chosen appetizer for Tennessee Williams’s more baleful treatment of the same.
Apartment 3A continues its run through Saturday, December 20.
[Originally published in December, 2008.]