For those who’ve dared attend one, a high school reunion is an occasion in which one’s past expectations and one’s present circumstances come head to head. For the characters in Stephen Belber’s absurd and often poignant new play, The Muscles in Our Toes, the effort to reconcile the two has a very real impact on their immediate futures when they gather in the chorus room (hyper-realistically designed by Lee Savage) of their high school for their 25th.
Inside this history-laden space, talk among four old friends turns quickly from the conversational pleasantries of work, kids, and marriage to the person conspicuously missing from it: their friend Jim, who, word has it, has been captured by a radical political group during a business trip in Chad. Reg (Amir Arison), a mild-mannered government employee, proposes a peace website to bring attention to Jim’s predicament, but the rest of the group, including Les (Bill Dawes), a fight choreographer who embodies a beguiling combination of macho jocularity and progressive sensitivity, Dante (Mather Zickel), an uptight banker and new convert to Judaism, and Phil (Matthew Maher), Dante’s flamboyant brother, have other plans. “If we wanna live more engaged lives we have to get up off our asses and do something,” Phil says.