The heartwarming story of a semi-functional family strengthened by infidelity and violence. As a one line summary, that’s actually pretty close to the mark. Playwright Bruce Graham meshes dark humor, pathos, and relationships in a way that is both fantastical and close to the bone. Only a Philly audience would truly appreciate the conundrum presented by a Giants/Cowboys match-up. Yet in the end, the moral ambiguities all make sense. Director Barbara Mills has assembled a strong cast who keep the fast-paced dialogue flying. This is not a physically taxing play, but it doesn’t need to be – all the energy is in the words.
Daughter Sarah (Julie Roberts) introduces the story. She beautifully conveys the confusion and frustration she feels towards her parents through a college student know-it-all filter. All she wants is normalcy, but better. A difficult situation to rectify when her mother has moved out with little warning. Mom Risa (Jen Allegra) can’t really explain why she chose to leave. Allegra’s Risa is both strong and insecure as she tries to sort out what she wants. Lenny knows what he wants, his wife Risa back home, and perhaps more dominion over the coffee table. Joe Herman gives us an everyman Lenny, unassertive and congenial, and consequently maddening at times. Luckily for him, best friend Mickey (Lenny Grossman) is on hand to take charge of Lenny’s anger issues for him. Grossman’s Mickey is an energetic lightning bolt in search of a target. Whether or not he is a man of action on his own behalf is unknown, but his is quick to jump in to help is friend.
Like a traveler to Oz, each of these characters is seeking something. No spoilers, or ruby slippers here, just the promise of a satisfying resolution if you go. Which you should. And, soon, because the play’s last show time is on Sunday, February 19th. Tickets available online or at the door. Save a few dollar if you buy your tickets online ahead of time. Suggestion: don’t bring the kids. The baby in the audience last Saturday was a distraction to both the patrons and the actors, who are to be commended for seemingly not noticing the infant.
Stagecrafters Theater, 8130 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia PA 19118
Telephone (215) 247-8881
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