In The Middle of the Night is a strong and intriguing piece by Billy Aronson (who came up with the original concept and additional lyrics for RENT with Jonathan Larson) that I feel could work just as well as a ballet as it does in play form (it’s already halfway there). That’s a strange compliment perhaps, but the story flows like a dance, even when it doesn’t have its two young leads dancing on stage with graceful moves choreographed by Wendy Seyb. As the young college aged couple, Jared McGuire & Irene Longshore sparkle and draw us into their conflicted world. They’ve snuck into a warehouse, and their relationship seems on the surface more needy and dependent, especially from Longshore’s portrayal, whose character snaps from loving and longing to harsh and manipulative. She does fantastic work here, drawing you into a character that needs you to need her. McGuire pulls in great moments as well portraying a young lost kid whose parents simply don’t understand what he needs. He’s lost, and his longing is painfully heard through his graceful performance. As his parents, Helen Coxe and Scott Sowers are fully believable and real, never feeling like characters at all. It’s a haunting piece directed with a fluid style by Robert Davenport that stays with you long after the final light flickers out.
-Big Vision Empty Wallet
Reaching the home stretch, frequent Marathon contributor Billy Aronson gives us his “In the Middle of the Night,” a thought-provoking piece about a college student (Jared McGuire) who breaks into an empty campus building one night for some privacy as he explores some fantasies with a girl (Irene Longshore) with whom he seems to have a special relationship. When his mother and step-father (Helen Coxe and Scott Sowers) oddly show up, we soon discover something we certainly weren’t expecting. It’s neatly done, and McGuire in particular impresses. Kudos to director Robert Davenport and also to Wendy Seyb for some perfectly suited choreography that ends up being quite important to the show.
Billy Aronson brings welcome economy to his play “In the Middle of the Night,” in which a mother’s surprise visit to her son at college reveals the shocking extent of his emotional instability.
-New York Times
Billy Aronson’s intriguing In the Middle of the Night starts out as a quirky romantic comedy between nerdy college student Dan (Jared McGuire) and his girlfriend Sherry (Irene Longshore), who have broken into a deserted building for a secret rendezvous. However, the arrival of the boy’s mother (Helen Coxe) and stepfather (Scott Sowers) throws a different and disquieting light on the nature of the young couple’s relationship. The piece gets an added lift from a choreographed dance by Wendy Seyb that appropriately amuses the first time around, and then disturbs when repeated.
A SECRET REVEALED: (L-R) Jared McGuire and Irene Longshore appear in Billy Aronson’s “In the Middle of the Night,” about a college freshman who breaks into a campus building for a night with a wild girl. (Gerry Goodstein)
Billy Aronson’s “In the Middle of the Night” fuses reality with surreality, as college boy Dan (Jared McGuire) and attractive Sherry (Irene Longshore) flirt and cavort in a deserted storeroom on campus. When Dan’s parents, Elise (Helen Coxe) and Jack (Scott Sowers), pay an unexpected and anxious visit, a terrible truth surfaces. All is nicely done under Robert Davenport’s direction, with Wendy Seyb given credit as choreographer.