Posted in Daisy Foote, dark comedy drama, family drama, inheritance, legacy, The Foote Family Legacy

Disquiet Contemplation in "HIM"

Nature can be both cruel and glorious.

The titular and unseen “HIM” in Daisy Foote’s new play, in a Primary Stages production at 59E59 Theaters through October 28th, leaves volumes describing the pleasure he felt sitting on a mountaintop.

Hallie Foote as Pauline and Tim Hopper as Henry in “HIM” at Primary Stages. Photo by James Leynse.

Quiet contemplation is the antithesis of the hubbub of family life. In “HIM.” his children see only a remote and withdrawn man. It’s not entirely satisfying that so much of the story of “HIM” is pegged to this mysterious disconnection, to what was unknown or unknowable about their father. Nonetheless, there is so much humor  and humanity in “HIM” that the emotional characterizations ring true and clear.

The eldest, Pauline (Hallie Foote) harbors deep resentful hatred for the father she does not understand because of the poverty in which the family has lived. She is ambitious, acquisitive and envious of her better-off neighbors.

Adam LeFevre as Farley and Tim Hopper as Henry in “HIM.” Photo by James Leynse.

“We don’t have lives,” she tells her brother Henry (Tim Hopper), “we have existences.” Pauline’s burdens which include caring for their retarded brother, Farley (Adam LeFevre), his girlfriend Louise (Adina Verson) and a failing family business are brightened by an unexpected inheritance. Meanwhile, looking for a glimmer of understanding of their father’s legacy, Henry wonders, as he reads the journals his father left behind,  “What was he reaching for when he died?”

The small and accomplished cast, ably led by director Evan Yiounoulis, polish the jewel-like dialog in “HIM” to a fine sheen.

Primary Stages is celebrating the Foote Family Legacy this season. So far, they have given us Horton Foote’s closely observed vignettes of life in “Harrison, TX” and his daughter Daisy’s skillful look at a misappropriated legacy in “HIM.” Hallie Foote, the other family treasure, has her deft and subtle acting to both productions.

For more information about Primary Stages and this production of “HIM,” visit www.primarystages.org