Sunday, October 7, 2012

Him **

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Being the daughter of a famous playwright must be a mixed blessing for Daisy Foote -- it probably opens doors, but it also sets expectations high. On the basis of her new play at Primary Stages, I think her achievement does not yet match her promise. An emotionally stunted father dying from a stroke is attended by his three adult children -- Pauline (Hallie Foote), still single in her 50s; Henry (Tim Hopper), a gay man in his late 40s who, bullied at college, returned home for keeps; and Farley (Adam LeFevre), the youngest, who is both obese and developmentally challenged. Ironically it is Farley who finds love in the form of a similarly challenged new neighbor, Louise (Adina Verson). The father has run his small-town New Hampshire general store into the ground and the family is barely surviving. Upon his death, the children find out that he secretly owned land that is now worth a fortune to developers. Pauline is driven by a need to become rich to show up the neighbors. When Henry discovers his father's journals revealing a love for the natural wonders of his property, he has second thoughts about developing it. One of the play's weaknesses is that every so often the action freezes and a spotlight shines on one of the actors who declaims a passage from the journals. This device grew stale very quickly. It also did not help that the characters' New England accent came and went. The strident monotone that Hallie Foote has chosen for her character grated on my ears after a while. Le Fevre and Verson grossly overact the behavior of a challenged person. Marion Williams' set recreates a slightly rundown kitchen of a particular time right down to the avocado appliances. Teresa Snider-Stein's costumes are fine. Evan Yionoulis directed. Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes including intermission.


Anonymous said...

Evan Yionoulis is credited as the director, not Daisy Foote. I'm not sure how you could miss that.

Robert Sholiton said...

I'm not sure either. Please accept my apology for the careless mistake. I have corrected the review accordingly.