Amy Herzog’s 'Belleville' Opens

March 12, 2013 | by —Simona Rabinovitch | Homepage

Maria Dizzia and Greg Keller star in Belleville

The quiet misery that can hide within seemingly happy romantic relationships takes center stage in Belleville, Amy Herzog's acclaimed new Off Broadway play at New York Theater Workshop. The lively drama tells the story of a young American couple, Abby (played by Maria Dizzia) and Zack (Greg Keller), living in Paris. Greg has a position with Doctors Without Borders. Abby teaches yoga, which doesn't thrill the aspiring actress as a life goal.

They seem happy and in love, but as both individuals and as a couple, they have their issues, quiet yet intense, which extend far beyond the financial strife Zack tries to hide from Abby. (Much like he tries to hide his penchant for Internet porn.) Neither Abby nor Gregg is totally happy, but they bury their discontent under booze, marijuana, and anti-depressants. Isolated overseas, their latent anger and fear builds into a sense of palpable danger that leads to the thriller's climax.

Directed by Anne Kauffman (who directed Detroit, among others), Belleville first ran at Yale Repertory Theater in 2011 with the same cast. Named after the Paris neighborhood in which the play is set, the writing is brilliant, the acting is great, and Herzog's softly dark but powerful story about humans and love will stick with you long after you leave the theater. 79 E. 4th St., 212-279-4200

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