Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Too Much, Too Much, Too Many ***

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Meghan Kennedy's new work is the latest offering at Roundabout Underground's Black Box Theatre, their "launching pad for emergent playwrights." In 22 short, concentrated scenes, Kennedy depicts some of the ways people deal with grief and loss. The four characters are Emma (Rebecca Henderson), a depressed 39-year-old single woman who has lost her father James (James Rebhorn) to Alzheimer's, her grieving mother Rose (Phyllis Somerville) who has locked herself in her room for almost a year, and the enigmatic Pastor Hidge (Luke Kirby) who has been sent by the local church to offer comfort. The actors rise to the challenge of performing with people they cannot see because of an intervening door. It's a pleasure to see two old pros like Rebhorn (Homeland) and Somerville (The Big C) onstage. Rebhorn's portrayal of the descent into dementia is heartbreaking. The younger actors are also fine and the production is first-rate. The set by Wilson Chin looks wonderfully lived in. Jess Goldstein's costumes, Zach Blane's lighting design and the sound design by Broken Chord all greatly enhance the production. Sheryl Kaller's direction is sure and steady. Despite some misgivings about the script, I found the play worthwhile. I do wish they had found a more appealing title though! Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission.

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