by: Michael Shields
David and Kate are getting married….again, for all the wrong reasons.
David and Katie met in school at Sarah Lawrence College. No one, especially them, would claim that it was love at first sight, but a spark between them lit a fuse and a relationship was born. A powerful and symbiotic connection was conceived, but it wasn’t always clear sailing. A word most appropriate to describe David and Katie’s relationship would be bipolar, but even that description fails to justly tell the story of two lovers who eventually moved to the big city together after college and then proceeded to break up, get back together, break up, get back together, and then breakup and get back together some more. Finally, they decided to get married, and that’s when the bottom fell out. David and Katie cheated and lied and were terrible to each other. They hit rock bottom, and consequently revealed to each other every perverted lie and shocking secret.
As David and Katie fought in vain for their capricious relationship, they began to explore their wicked fantasies together, rather than striking out on their own to find a quick, hedonistic fix. It is even rumored that they once stumbled drunkenly into a tattoo parlor late one evening and inked half of a “BFF” locket on their ass cheeks. Regardless, their wicked attempts at patching their relationship proved futile, and there seemed no other option – for the sake of the mental and physical well being of both parties – than to get a divorce. But time, the great, ever flowing healer of wounds, paired with fate and just a tad bit of luck has once again thrust David and Katie back together again. And this is where we, the fortuitous masses, have the opportunity to encounter David and Katie, “on the second happiest day of their lives after the first happiest day of their lives didn’t work.”
David and Katie Get Re-Married is a dark comedy about one of the most manic, deceitful, and flat-out hilarious couples you will ever have the fortune of meeting. The theatrical production pairs David Carl (Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet, Point Break Live) and Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting) in a cyclonic real-time wedding between a star-crossed, self-sabotaging couple intent on giving a perpetually doomed marriage one final hurrah. As David and Katie tell it, their family has already had the opportunity to witness them get married once, and subsequently supported them through a violent and expensive divorce, so they’re going to take a pass on this attempted re-union. This leaves the door open for the public to celebrate their second wedding with them, a wedding rife with original music, exotic rituals, interpretative dance, and even a unity volcano.
David and Katie Get Re-Married is a glimpse behind the curtain into two eccentric, and uniquely lovable people try to figure it all out. Hellbent on staying together, the lengths David and Katie will go to reconcile their tortuous love proves both cringe-worthy and amusing. As this disillusioned couple attempts to pick up the pieces of their shattered relationship, the audience is besieged by a series of marital rituals rife with sticks and feathers, balinese butterflies, and of course, cake. And in the midst of it all this madness, David and Katie teach us something about ourselves, our faults and shortcomings, as they bend over backwards in an attempt to demonstrate to their wedding guests how to love correctly. While it’s obvious that they shouldn’t be the ones at the head of the class in this regard, it certainly is a fun ride watching them try.
David Carl and Katie Hartman, the actors portraying this tempestuous couple, met just over a year ago at The Peoples Improv Theater ((On Jenn Dodd’s character show, Buttski and Glasscock’s Talent Showcase.)). Immediately they realized they wanted to work with one another. Following a “Hi, do you think we could work together?” coffee date, they both discovered that with their shared theater and acting backgrounds, and mutual desire for crafting a theatrical production that was a little more “real” and grounded than the crazed characters they both excel at portraying, they were a perfect match. Not to mention they both were intent on exploring what happens when you love the wrong person with all your being, and in doing so examine, through a dark comedic lens, themes of love, sex, intimacy and modern obstacles like selfishness and porn. As David Carl so eloquently puts it: “If you are with the “right” person it can be very hard, even when you love each other very much. If you are with the “wrong” person you, or both of you, might want it to work so intensely that you end up staying in a damaging situation.”
Throughout David and Katie Get Re-Married, this talented duo display not only crisp comedic timing and a rapturous chemistry, but also an impressive musical proficiency, particularly in the three well-crafted and uproariously funny songs, ”Only Go Up,” “Threesome,” and “Didn’t We.” David Carl has been playing music since the young age of nine, and since 2010 he has been performing comedic ballads throughout New York City ((Usually in the guise of character named Frank Pfefferkorn who specializes in stalkery love songs – one of which he played the evening he met Katie entitled “River of Love” during Jenn Dodd’s Talent Showcase.)). Katie Hartman has also played music since her formative years, and in tandem they fashion a brand of lampooning and exposive “love” songs, one of the many enthralling aspects of David and Katie Gets Re-Married.
According to Katie Hartman, the fun part of writing and performing in this production is that “we’re always surprised by where the laughs are, as it’s more than a show that is purely designed to evoke laughter.” And this idea holds true in that throughout David and Katie Get Re-Married you will continually find yourself surprised, delighted, momentarily confused, and more often than not shocked at what you find yourself cackling at. For the intrigue, and the deep-seated and poignant humor of this enthusiastic production is found in the blurred lines of their relationship, amongst the excessive measures they will go to validate their connection. David and Katie Get Re-Married commences with an exceedingly awkward interpretive dance where the couple are clad in skin-tight black spandex. They circle each other like animals in heat, and then un-athletically frolic about the stage in tandem. This outlandish waltz acts as the impeccable setup for the spectacle to follow, and perfectly embodies the whimsical nature of the antagonistic relationship that plays out. David and Katie Get Re-Married doesn’t aim to help you fully understand love’s vexing nature, but it allows you to marvel at it, and to do what one must when they find themselves trapped in an impossible situation….laugh.
David and Katie Get Re-Married is written and performed by David Carl and Katie Hartman, is directed by Michole Biancosino, and features the comedic stylings of Will Nunziata. The next opportunity to catch David and Katie is April 23rd at the Peoples Improv Theater at 123 East 24th Street in New York City. Save the Date!