The two actors beautifully convey the vagaries of affection once youthful passion has cooled, seeming like an old couple that has been around the block more than a few times and grown used to each other's quirks. They strike the brightest sparks when fighting during the long "Jealousy" section. When he begins "My love is like a fever," Pennington seems overcome with illness, then works himself into a fit of rage. Parry matches him with a dry, withering sarcasm. During Pennington's rendition of "Those lips that Love's own hand did make," Parry is called on to say "I hate" to him three times. She gives each a different spin, beginning with bristling anger, then doubt, and finally tender pleading for forgiveness.
Krawczyk's articulate playing of Louis Couperin's 17th-century music provides a melancholy counterpart. At one point he even makes evocative sound effects: To illuminate the line "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore," Krawczyk pushes all the air out of his accordion without any accompanying music, creating a mournful sound like the ocean crashing on a lonely beach.
My only complaint is the piece's brevity. The 50-minute running time left me hungry for more. At the performance attended, Brook gave a fascinating after-show talkback in which he discussed his philosophy of direction and told amusing anecdotes of his long career. If such an addendum were part of every showing, or if a second program of sonnets could follow an intermission, this "Sin" would be a fuller meal.
Presented by Theatre for a New Audience at the Duke on 42nd Street, 229 W. 42nd St., NYC. April 1–17. Tue.–Sat., 8 p.m.; Wed. and Sat., 2 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. (646) 223-3010 or www.new42.org.