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THE BUZZ: Ridgeite pens one-act plays for NYC festival

With the Midtown International Theatre Festival celebrating 15 years this summer, the city-based showcase will welcome “Déjà Who? The Thrill of Love and Disillusionment,” an original comedy about mix-ups in love penned by Ridgeite Edward Eriksson, to the Big Apple stage.

“I know Eddie for many, many years – since I was a freshman at Brooklyn College,” explained Ridge resident Peter Coriaty, the show’s veteran director, of Eriksson, an English professor at Suffolk County Community College, on his third New York City production. “He wrote this play a couple of years ago and, just last year, had a reading that was very well received. He asked me to come along, and I was happy to.”

According to Coriaty, the comedy – made up of four one-act plays – deals with love, disillusionment and everything in between.

While all are hilariously relatable, Coriaty called the fourth his favorite.

Titled, “Déjà Who?” the final act follows characters Marion and John as they try to salvage their marriage at the very same therapy session where they end up meeting each other’s lovers.

“The last one is my favorite because it’s hilarious,” Coriaty lauded, adding that it deals with a really “psycho marriage counseling.

“In other words,” he explained, “they try to deal with their problems while all of these things are being thrown at them. It’s just very funny.”

Each piece is about 20 pages long, translating into about 20 minutes of stage-time.

“We’re having a great deal of fun with it,” said Coriaty. “The actors are really enjoying it.”

Above all, he said, the hilarity seems to hit home.

“The plays seem to strike a chord about the relationships between people,” said Coriaty, “whether there is such a thing as eternal love, love that will last forever, or a soulmate. These are the questions that are kind of dealt with in all of the plays, so it ties the four acts together.”

Not to mention, it runs in the family, according to Coriaty, who told this paper that Eriksson’s wife is the face behind the production’s costuming, adding that Ridgeites, Brooklynites and New Yorkers across the City should check out “Déjà Who,” as they’ll all find something that they connect with.

“They should see the show because they’ll see themselves and be able to laugh at themselves in the most benign way,” said the director. “They’ll certainly recognize some people in their lives or themselves [in the characters] and they’ll definitely remember the experience.”

His cast includes a former student, Setauket?s Bryan Nee, a national prize-winning actor, in a lead role as well as radio personality Carol Beaugard, Gabrielle Brown, Sean Geoghan, Marc Gettis and Katrina Klein – all New York City actors.

The original performance will run eight times from Saturday, July 19 through Sunday, August 3 – opening day at 1 p.m. and closing night at 8 p.m. – at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, in Manhattan). Tickets are $20.

For more information, a full performance schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit www.midtownfestival.org.

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