Posted in Dallas in 1963, Dallas in 1992, JFK and the grassy knoll, love story, mixed race couples, teens, Years of Sky, young love

The Time’s They Are A-Changin’ or Are They?

There was a time, not so long ago, when being in an interracial relationship was actually dangerous.

Sheldon Best as David at 22 and Auden Thornton as Stace at 22 in “Years of Sky” at 59 E59. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

“Years of Sky,” directed by Christopher Scott at 59E59 Theaters through March 10th, follows the lives of a pair of star-crossed teens.

Amy Hargreaves as Stace at 45 and Gano Grills as David at 45 in “Years of Sky” at 59E59. Photo : Carol Rosegg.

Stace (Auden Thornton) stays true to the dream that she and David (Sheldon Best) can be together in JFK’s more-perfect world. David’s love for her is never completely derailed by other allegiances. By the time they reunite as adults in 1992, David (Gano Grills) is married, and Stace (Amy Hargreaves) is still idealistic.

Barbara Blatner’s bitter-sweet love story plays out over three decades of change and stasis in American society. When they meet again after thirty years, David asks Stace, “In the course a’ your day, ya ever find yourself thinkin’ – ‘I’m white?’

Auden Thornton (Stace at 22)., Tood Davis (Ben) and Sheldon Best  (David at 22).
Photo by Carol Rosegg.

The cleverly executed sets, constructed by The Ken Larson Co. from Rebecca Phillips fine designs, make excellent use of the small space in 59E59’s Theater C.

Among the personable ensemble, Auden Thornton as Stace at 17 and 22, Amy Hargreaves as Stace grown-up and Sheldon Best as the younger David are standouts.  Todd Davis rounds out the cast as David’s dad, Ben.

For more information and tickets for “Years of Sky,” please visit www.59e59.org.

Posted in athletes, comedy, family, love story, parenting, parents and children, politics, rock and roll, siblings, teens, young love

A Tall Order: Anna Kerrigans "The Talls"

Anna Kerrigan’s fine new play, “The Talls” would probably benefit from a more seductive title. Family in dysfunction can have so many iterations, but this one is fresh and beguiling.

Set in a small California town in the 1970’s, “The Talls” at 2econd Stage Theatre Uptown, through August 27th, focuses on the rudderless Clarke children.

Everything in “The Talls” encapsulates the 1970s. The actors are perfectly dressed by Jenny Mannis and the Clarke living room, in a set by Dane Laffrey, is evocative of “The Brady Bunch.”

Big sister, Isabelle (Shannon Esper) feels responsible for keeping her siblings on track. She makes sure they get their homework done, keeps Christian (Michael Oberholtzer) from picking on Catherine (Lauren Holmes) and makes sure that their youngest brother, Nicholas (Timothee Chalamet) gets ready for bed.

Gerard Canonico as Russell James with Shannon
Esper as Isabelle [Photo (c) Joan Marcus] 

The parents, John (Peter Rini) and Anne Clarke (Christa Scott-Reed) are pre-occupied– mostly with dad’s career and aspirations in politics, but also with Anne’s friendship with Sister Connie, one of the children’s teachers.

Christa Scott-Reed as Mrs. Anne Clarke and Peter Rini
as Mr. John Clarke [Photo (c) Joan Marcus] 

Anne, who has forgotten about Christian’s and Catherine’s ball games in the early afternoon, comes home to remind them, over an early cocktail, to get ready to meet their father’s political advisor, Russell James (Gerard Canonico).

Isabelle is not just the oldest in the family, she is also the smartest, and in some ways, despite her youth, the wisest. She is, also, the most daring. Isabelle longs for freedom from the straight and narrow. Her dreams of being a hippie are partly fulfilled as the comedy reaches a poignant outcome.

To find out more about Anna Kerrigan’s “The Talls,” please visit http://2st.com/