And You Sang to Me, Bailiwick Repertory. Steve Lovett's unambitious but amusing play relies on two familiar ideas: opposites attract, and weddings bring out an envious desire for emotional connection. He works so hard to prove the first, in fact, that we begin to suspect the play grew out of a writing exercise: put two people who wouldn't normally get along in a room together. A critic and an artist struggle to keep their fizzling 14-year relationship alive, an uptight antiques dealer is angered and aroused by a handsome young man he sees as a country hick, and a serious art lover and his jingle-writer buddy consider becoming more than just friends. True comic zingers in each scenario help, but the scenes go on too long, especially since the bickering duos are all alike in their longing for love. In between the laughs and the fleeting moments of genuine interaction are a lot of dumb, tired arguments.
The cast, directed by Phil Gigante, dealt admirably with an opening-night power outage. Especially good was Michael Pacas as the antiques dealer, unearthing the humanity in this sitcom script and credibly conveying the sadness, insecurity, and desire roiling beneath his character's stuffed-shirt exterior. As the critic and actor, Bob Pries and Michael Reyes had their patter down but played the scene so fast that any emotion felt false.