Posted in #Roundabout, domestic drama, drama, family drama, philosophy, Roundabout Theatre Company

Time, space, continuum

Our lives, no matter how long their time spans, are all just one continuous moment.

If this premise had been posited before the party that is the first scene of Time and the Conways, at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre through November 26th, how much more endurable the charades the family played would have been!

Time and the Conways rattles on, not unagreeably because as it does it gains depth and perspective. J.B. Priestley’s play, written in 1937 has a timelessness. It endures for us under the direction of Rebecca Taichman, who might have given it a brisker flow.

Gabriel Ebert, Anna Baryshnikov, and Anna Camp were standouts in an excellent ensemble. Paloma Young’s lovely costumes are as true for 1919 as for 1937. The set design, by Neil Patel, is both solid and ethereal in keeping with the tone of Priestley’s story.

Please pardon the spoilers unspooled in our description and review below. 

Alan Conway (Gabriel Ebert) is the soul of this family. His sister Kay (Charlotte Parry) is its brittle intelligence.Carol (Anna Baryshnikov) carries the family’s heart. Hazel (Anna Camp), in contrast to her brothers Alan, and Robin (Matthew James Thomas), the family’s ambition. Robin, Mrs. Conway’s (Elizabeth McGovern) favorite child, is a self-destructive wastrel. The giggly girl who marries him, Joan Helford (Cara Ricketts) is deceived into thinking there is more to him by his swagger.

The self-important tyrant Hazel marries, Ernest Beevers (Steven Boyer) is obscenely mean-spirited. Madge Conway (Brooke Bloom) is the polemical sister, idealistic and down-to-earth at once. Her thwarted interest in Gerald Thornton (Alfredo Narcisco) may have soured her and etched her practical preferences.

For tickets to Time and the Conways, please visit the Roundabout website.

Posted in acceptance, adultery, boys in love, cheating, church, dalliance, family, football, friendship, good and evil, morality, philosophy, religion, teens, tennage boys

Unspeakable Acts?

In James Lantz’s “The Bus”, two teenage boys share a secret love in a small midwestern town.

“The Bus”, at 59E59 Theaters through October 30th, is kind of a protest play, broadly about “the love that dare not speak its name,” but with no polemics and plenty of heart.

Bryan Fitzgerald (back) withWill Roland . Photo by Carol Rosegg  

Ian (Will Roland) and Jordan (Bryan Fitzgerald) meet in an abandoned bus that serves as the landmark pointing to the Golden Rule Church looming at the top of the hill. Ian’s angry father, Harry (Travis Mitchell) owns the land on which the vehicle is parked, and its presence on his property begins to irk him.

There is a character called The Little Girl (Julia Lawler) in “The Bus” who is the scene-setter and narrator in this intentionally minimalist play. She paints vivid pictures of the surroundings as the story unfolds.
She is also Jordan’s little sister.

While Jordan is disdainful of religion, and open about who he is, Ian is conflicted. His sexuality is as much of concern to him as it is to both his parents.

Ian’s mother, Sarah (Kerry McGann), has substituted church for family since her divorce from Harry. Sarah drags an unwilling Ian to services on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Will Roland as Ian with Bryan Fitzgerald as Jordan in James Lantz’s “The Bus”. Photo by Carol Rosegg  

“The Bus” is heartfelt, intimate, and engrossing.
To learn more about and for performance schedules for “The Bus” go to www.59e59.org.
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Good people, evil deeds?

You might not be comfortable setting your moral compass by this guy, but Mickey (Michael Mastro) is a great friend.

“Any Given Monday”, Bruce Graham’s award winning play, on stage at 59E59 Theaters through November 6th, explores issues of good and evil, which, in its scope, may be relative, with equal measure of insight and humor.

Paul Michael Valley as Lenny and Michael Mastro as Mickey in Bruce Graham’s “Any Given Monday.” Photo by Carol Rosegg  

Mickey and Lenny (Paul Michael Valley) have been buddies since boyhood. Mickey, it seems, will do anything for Lenny.

Michael Mastro has the physicality and delivery reminiscent of Art Carney. His sardonic manner is devastatingly funny.

When Lenny’s wife, Risa (Hilary B. Smith) leaves him for the excitement of an affair with the unseen Frank, Mickey shows up to watch Monday night football with his old pal. He is also there to assure himself that Lenny isn’t suicidal. Lenny’s daughter, Sarah (Lauren Ashley Carter)comes home from college with much the same purpose.

Lauren Ashley Carter as Sarah and Hilary B. Smith as Risa in “Any Given Monday.” Photo by Carol Rosegg  

The disimpassioned amorality in “Any Given Monday” is supported by a deep understanding of the philosophical both sides. Or as Mickey tells Sarah, all three sides– most people, he says, do neither the right thing nor the wrong, but rather do nothing.

“Any Given Monday” is good for any day of the week.

Lauren Ashley Carter as Sarah and Michael Mastro as Mickey. Photo by Carol Rosegg  

To learn more about and for performance schedules for “Any Given Monday”, please go to www.59e59.org