It's 1999, at the height of Y2K panic, and a small-town Idaho newspaper created for long-haul truckers is failing. It doesn't get much bleaker than that.
Samuel D. Hunter's play embraces loneliness through a no-fail combination of monologues about long-haul trucking, voicemails of people submitting their personal ads and characters affected by small-town conservatism and isolation. In both dialogue and set, the play succeeds in its preciseness.
The thrust set, which is the inside of a trailer that holds the newspaper's office, is decorated with old photographs of cats, postcards, dirty computer monitors, a Garfield coffee mug and pictures of long-haul trucks colored by kids. At points where the pauses between dialogue feel long, the set is endlessly interesting to notice.
Val Landrum as QZ and Michael O'Connell as Bryan succeed in playing two people whose relationship has been twisted by loss and time. But it's Caleb Sohigian's Matthew who has the most dynamic character of the show, physically characterized with abrupt exits and by trailing off at the ends of his sentences.
This is not a world we want to revisit, but as a play, that's another story.
See it: The Few is at CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 220-2646. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, through April 16. $28.