Saturday, May 17, 2014

Too Much Sun ***

While Nicky Silver’s new play starring Linda Lavin at The Vineyard may be a disappointment to those expecting a variation on his hit play The Lyons, It can still provide a lot of enjoyment to those willing to consider it on its own merits. Although it offers another juicy role for Lavin, it has quite a different spirit from the earlier play. This time out Lavin plays Audrey Langham, an actress of a certain age who has a meltdown performing Medea in Chicago and shows up, unannounced and unwelcome, at the beach house where her estranged daughter Kitty (Jennifer Westfeldt) and her husband Dennis (Ken Barnett) are spending the summer. Kitty is an unhappy schoolteacher and Dennis is an ad man who has taken the summer off to write the Great American Sci-Fi Novel. The next-door neighbors are Winston (Richard Bekins), a wealthy widower, and his gay teenaged son Lucas (Matt Dickson) who sells weed to the locals. They are joined by Gil (Matt Dellapina), the assistant to Audrey’s agent, who has been sent to bring Audrey back to Chicago. Over the course of the summer, new relationships blossom as old ones wither, with a few surprises along the way. The balance tips toward more drama and less humor, although there are many funny moments. Some of the characters are insufficiently developed and there are some awkward structural flaws (Silver seems unable to resist including at least one blackout with a character addressing the audience). The set by Donyale Werle is quite attractive and Michael Krass’s costumes are fine. Mark Brokaw’s direction is assured. The play's final line is memorable. Despite the play’s flaws, I found it consistently enjoyable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't recommend this show. There was too much exposition by the characters which became tedious. The actor playing Dennis was totally non-compelling. By the end of the 1st act, the 2nd act plot was almost all foretold. And there was no life in the play.