“Good Company” at the Midtown International Theatre Festival at the Davenport Theatre (Closed Sunday July 19, 2015)

Written by S. Karlan
Directed by Cristhian Andrews
Reviewed by Sander Gusinow
Theatre Reviews Limited

Goodness, rich people are nice. That is the lesson of S. Karlan’s “Good Company” when Leslie, a prostitute, is purchased by the wealthy Paul, an older man who keeps her in his house as a live-in friend. She quickly is enamored with the multimillionaire as he gives her everything her heart desires, but betrays him to her pimp because, well, she never says.

Ruya Koman gives the standout performance as Leslie. She sparkles with subtle charm. She’s especially entrancing in the first segment, as her frustration with the wet-blanket Paul dissipates as his outrageous proposal to buy her companionship becomes more and more tempting. The boorish Paul is bettered, but not necessarily rescued, by the gainly Gregory Davis, as the character is almost entirely defined by his money and magnanimity.

Playwright S. Karlan has little grasp of subtext or structure. Director Cristhian Andrews has a solid grasp of staging, but is unadventurous in “Good Company,” setting all of play around a table and two chairs, including a prostitute’s den (why are there tables and chairs there again?) It’s tough to pin down what exactly “Good Company” is about. Love? Not really. Race? The audience is left unaware that Paul is written exclusively to be a black man until about three lines from the end.

In the end, it’s an interesting, albeit done-to-death, premise with nowhere to go.