Theater review: ‘Lonely, I’m Not’

He's not lonely, he swears!

Topher Grace, of “That ’70s Show” fame, makes an impressive Off-Broadway debut as Porter in Paul Weitz’s “Lonely, I’m Not” at Second Stage Theatre.  He’s as likable as Weitz’s comedy, which chronicles Porter’s attempts to rejoin the human race four years after a nervous breakdown torpedoed his career as a corporate wunderkind.  

After a slightly false start – an unconvincing altercation between Porter and a barista (Christopher Jackson) about an off-hours latte – “Lonely” finds its footing and its wry humor as Porter interviews for a second grade teacher position and then meets Heather (Olivia Thirlby), an intelligent, ambitious business analyst who happens to be blind.  

Their relationship is the focal point of the play.  It progresses nicely until Porter’s slimy father (Mark Blum) ends up in jail, causing Porter to be three-and-a-half hours late for his introductory dinner with Heather’s mother (Lisa Emery).  He freaks out and leaves after bumping into Heather, sending the Chicken Saltimboca flying.  Meanwhile Heather has problems of her own, in the form of an over-eager roommate (Maureen Sebastian) and a boss (Blum) who can’t see past her blindness.  

The chemistry between Grace and Thirlby isn’t evident, but it’s effective in its own way.  Determined to prove her independence, Heather’s dry, almost mechanical, while Porter’s a moist sponge, soaking up emotions and crying during sex.  Trip Cullman’s direction is crisp.   Weitz populates the piece with vivid supporting characters and gives his colorfully detailed leads plenty of sharp, snappy dialogue.   

‘Lonely, I’m Not’
Second Stage Theatre
305 West 43rd Street. 


Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.


NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…


Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.


Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…


From 'La Femme Nikita' to 'Lucy,' a list…

French filmmaker Luc Besson has created a cottage industry of junk cinema. Here are his many unique action heroes, including Liam Neeson and "Lucy"'s Lucy.


Review: 'Lucy,' with Scarlett Johansson, is smart, stupid…

Luc Besson's "Lucy," in which Scarlett Johansson gains increased control over her brain, is a film about smart and stupid but always enjoyable.


'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…


Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.


David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.


Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.


MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack


2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?


Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.


5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.


Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…


Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.