“The Nice Man Cometh” is a glowing play about starting over

The Nice Man Cometh flyer with the two actors
The Nice Man Cometh

A lovingly crafted, emotionally real work about forging new relationships

The New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch is giving us a play that is an embarrassment of riches. Actor/playwright Michael Tucker has created a play in five scenes, The Nice Man Cometh, for himself and his wife, actress Jill Eikenberry, about an unlikely pair meeting later in life.

The play was released with one new scene a day from April 5th through April 9th and is being shown free of charge. It is a lovingly crafted, emotionally real work about forging new relationships, and it must be seen.

The play introduces us to Claire, a psychology professor, and Frederick, a “sort-of” lawyer, both of whom are part of the “boomer” generation. She’s a divorcee; he’s a widower. They have found each other on Tinder, and when we meet them, they are on their first date. While awkwardness ensues, mainly due to mismatched expectations, it’s not what one would see on a “typical” first date. Tucker has created two rounded, mature adults, taking what could be cliché into new and different directions.

But it’s not just the writing that is unexpected—it’s also the level of acting. Tucker and Eikenberry are at the top of their game in this two-hander, and it’s a joy to see this real-life couple explore the nuances of mature dating in the modern age.

New Jersey Repertory Company has done the theatre-deprived of this pandemic world an enormous service by giving a platform to such a well-written play performed by actors of this caliber. I strongly encourage you to visit njrep.org to see The Nice Man Cometh.

The Nice Man Cometh is being presented by the New Jersey Repertory Company on their website, njrep.org, until May 7, 2021. There is no charge to view the play online.