Photos and text by Stacie Joy
Updated 2/28: The play has been extended through March 23.
The doors at the Connelly Theater, 220 E. Fourth St., are locked when I arrive to meet playwright Max Wolf Friedlich.
After a "Hey, I'm here!" text, he pops out of the venue with a smile, clutching a can of grapefruit Spindrift.
We take a brief tour of the site here between Avenue A and Avenue B before the scheduled 2 p.m. matinee of his well-reviewed play "Job," a psychological thriller about an employee at an unnamed big tech company who has been placed on leave after becoming the subject of a viral video.
The play, starring Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmon, enjoyed a buzzy five-week engagement last fall at the Soho Playhouse. Positive word-of-mouth —and reviews — have followed the production here for this six-plus week run. (When I leave at 1:30 p.m., there is already a sizable line on this rainy afternoon.)
"I grew up doing theater in the East Village — at the Kraine, NY Theater Workshop, Bowery Poetry Club, Under St. Marks," he says. "I went to high school in the East Village, and many of my best friends lived here. It's my favorite neighborhood in New York. Somehow, despite all the changing demographics, it still feels like a real neighborhood — a real community."
He continues: "Being able to eat Casa Adela or Katz's on show days? Doesn't get much better. The Connelly is gorgeous, and Josh [Luxenberg, director and general manager] and his team have been so accommodating and attentive. Our whole team truly loves being on East Fourth." here.