Posted in Alexis Molnar, brothers and sisters, Chad Beguelin, comedy-drama, Erin Cummings, family comedy drama, family secrets, gay parents, Mark Lamos, mothers and daughters, Paul Anthony Stewart, Randy Harrison

Family Matters in "Harbor"

Hold on  tight. Family can elicit many feelings– not all of them Norman Rockwell images.

Paul Anthony Stewart as Ted, Randy Harrison as Kevin and Alexis Molnar as Lottie celebrate Lottie’s birthday in Chad Beguelin’s “Harbor,” under the direction of Mark Lamos at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters through September 8th. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

In Chad Beguelin’s “Harbor,” playing at 59E59 Theaters in a Primary Stages production through September 8, love and kinship are complicated matters. Family has a bittersweet taste, as complex as bergamon, or one of the sharper mints. It is something of which we should be wary. There truly may not be a sacred bond holding one generation to the next, or even between siblings. 

Donna Adams (Erin Cummings) lives in a van with her fifteen-year old daughter Lottie (Alexis Molnar). Donna’s brother, Kevin Adams-Weller lives in a glorious house in Sag Harbor with his husband, Ted (Paul Anthony Stewart). Donna, a one-woman wrecking crew, descends on the two men for what turns into a prolonged, life-altering stay. Lottie, who is “Asian-smart” as her mother puts it, is appalled but also enthralled by the sudden stability of her surroundings. 

Erin Cummings as Donna, Randy Harrison as Kevin, Paul Anthony Stewart as Ted and Alexis Molnar as Lottie in a scene from Chad Beguelin’s “Harbor” at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Many “a brick of truth,” Donna’s favorite expression, gets dropped in “Harbor,” and somehow, it seems like the “brick” to which she refers may not be a building material. If we think that comedy is meant to be funny, “Harbor” enlightens us. “Harbor” is that and poignant and bright and brittle.

The cast of four all give commendably brilliant performances under the guidance of director Mark Lamos.

Erin Cummings is chilling as the conniving and hapless Donna. Alexis Molnar matches her stroke for stroke as the savvy and befuddled Lottie. Paul Anthony Stewart, who gets a wonderful rant in the opening scenes, recognizes all the subtle nuances that make ted tick, even the things the man doesn’t seem to know about himself. Boyish and unmoored, Randy Harrison depicts a Kevin who is malleable and unformed to a tee.

Ted and Kevin’s beautiful and immaculate Sag Harbor house is lovingly designed by Andrew Jackness, with views of its outside projected on the side walls.

“Harbor” is as complex and complicated as the most intricate family ties which it portrays with elegance and grace.

For more information about “Harbor,” please visit www.primarystages.org.

Author:

For an opinionated woman such as I, blogging is an excellent outlet. This is one of many fori that I use to bloviate. Enjoy! Comment on my commentary.

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