Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trust

Sutton Foster has a lot more in common with Miley Cyrus than you might think. Both are now trying to shed their nice girl reputations by dressing up in sexually provocative attire.

Foster is best known for playing heroines in family-friendly musicals such as “Shrek,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Drowsy Chaperone” and “Little Women.”But in Paul Weitz's black comedy “Trust,” Foster gets the once-in-a-lifetime shot to play a dominatrix.

Upon entering the stage, Sutton is wearing a black leather catsuit, lingerie, gloves and a wig and carrying a whip. Prudence, Foster’s character, orders Harry, played by Zach Braff, to lick her high-heeled boot. But after just a few minutes of role play, Harry recognizes Prudence as his high school classmate.

Harry, who made millions by selling his internet company, now feels emotionally lost, deflated and out of touch with his wife. He quickly becomes obsessed with Prudence and proceeds to invade her life. Her aggressive boyfriend, played by Bobby Cannavale, contemplates blackmailing Harry for rent money.

Paul Weitz, who is best known for the film “American Pie,” has a real talent for dark humor and exploring troubled individuals with sexual problems. But there is simply appears to be little point or purpose to “Trust,” which lacks an involving plot and has little character development. It simply offers awkward conversations that add up to nothing.

Foster admittedly looks very, very hot in her new wardrobe and is sure to shock some of her fans, but her character never changes. Braff, after a bout of emptiness and moral guilt, suddenly becomes unpredictable and frenzied. It's a successfully believable performance, but his role is rather odd and uninteresting. Both Foster and Braff and their co-stars deserve a more substantial play.

“Trust” plays at Second Stage Theatre through September 12.
305 W. 43rd St., 212-246-4422, 2st.com.

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