Saturday, November 19, 2016

This Day Forward *** B-

It’s good to have another Nicky Silver play onstage at the Vineyard Theatre, which has nurtured his work for over 20 years. Few playwrights can spin hilarity out of tragic circumstances as well as Silver. Perhaps his most popular play is The Lyons, with its deeply dysfunctional Jewish family that included an overbearing mother (a role Linda Lavin was born to play), a tyrannical father, a conflicted gay son and a less-than-appreciated daughter. If you enjoyed The Lyons, you will feel right at home here. The first act, set in 1958 in a room at the St. Regis, features a bridal couple whose wedding night is thrown into disarray by the revelation of a secret. In the second act, we learn how the consequences of that night have played out 46 years later. The dialog is often brutally funny. To say more would be to reveal too much. The entire production is topnotch. The cast of six (Andrew Burnap, Michael Crane, Holley Fain, Francesca Faridany, June Gable and Joe Tippett), some doubling roles, are all superb. The sets for both acts, by Allen Moyer, are perfection. Kaye Voyce’s costumes suit their characters well. J. David Brimmer’s  fight direction is worthy of note. Longtime Silver collaborator Mark Brokaw directs with a sure hand. With Silver, the style sometimes threatens to overwhelm the substance, but that is a flaw I can accept. Running time: 2 hours, including intermission.

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