Every once in a while, you realize that your judgment fails you , something that can periodically cause you to miss out on things because of a call you make.
The previous weekend, we had seen our friend who gave a piano performance for a small group. He had mentioned that he had seen this play and that it was really, really good. We are going to most of the plays that this theatre offers, but had declined this one. Declining it was a mistake and luckily, we rectified that one by seeing it last night.
It is not a play that necessarily makes you feel happy, but it does make you think. It takes place on Martha’s Vineyard and deals with two sisters who are falling out of touch, as things sometimes go, while life plays itself out. The one visits the other and dysfunctional aspects of both Devon’s and Simone’s lives spill out. It seems that Devon’s life has been in a tailspin of sorts, but she has a good handle on it, as she lives in her mom’s basement. Simone’s life ‘looks good’ and she has the ‘salary,’ but it is all based on falsehoods, falsehoods related to her job for the very wealthy on Martha’s Vineyard.
Reality and Falsehood clash and this one act, ninety some minute play with no intermission moves forward with no dozing possible for the audience.
I am convinced that the direction of this play can either make it or break it. In the case of Ellen Phelps, the director of the play at the Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest, she was spot on.
The cast was limited; there were only five actors. Besides Devon and Simone, there was Michaela: the wife of the wealthy owner of the Martha’s Vineyard home, who suddenly returns home unexpectedly to barge in on the pre-planned siblings’ reunion weekend, Ethan: Simone’s wealthy boyfriend and best friend of Michaela’s husband (who wears salmon colored pants), and Jos-B (pronounced as ‘hose B,’ as in the terrible, racist joke from the past, Jose and Jos-B), the Spanish speaking caretaker of the estate.
Devon – Maggie Kettering
Simone – Sara Hecht
Michaela – Grayson Heyl
Ethan – Nic Fantl
Jos-B – Ray Andrecheck
I thought that Maggie (as sister Devon from Buffalo, NY) was fabulous and one of the big reasons that the play was so moving. Sarah Hecht, playing her sister Simone, was less in control, in my estimate, of the part, but very compelling nonetheless. Grayson Heyl, as the wealthy second wife with a Martha’s Vineyard and several other abodes, was wonderful as the distressed, appearance and class-driven human being, and Jos-B was great at adding comic relief as the caretaker and hater of his superiors.
I am so glad that we saw this play. Thank you to Citadel Theatre for contacting us and giving us the free tickets. It all made for a very thoughtful and entertaining evening and weekend.