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A CurtainUp Review
Harold Pinter's Moonlight, now playing at Studio Theatre, is not easy to like but the language can be intriguing. Andy (Ted van Griethuysen), a former civil servant now on his deathbed, displays some very uncivil traits. He's cruel to his wife Bel (very sympathetically played by Sybil Lines) and delusional about their children. Daughter Bridget (Libby Woodbridge) is probably dead but will not acknowledge that fact and their grown sons, Jake (Anatol Yusef in a particularly strong performance) and Fred (Tom Story) "the boys" left home long ago. And they are never going back. They lost all respect for their father and sympathy for their mother long ago. Instead they lead dissolute lives interspersed with performing derogatory skits about their dad. Not pretty . . . but not without interest.
Director Joy Zinoman illuminates the themes and language of this rarely-performed 1993 Pinter play. There are lines that offer comic relief such as "He never missed a day of night school" and some poignant observations about relationships. However, Pinter's wordiness gets tiresome and confusing.
What is true? What isn't? It is as though we rearrange facts to suit our emotional needs. That's certainly true of Andy who, for all his gruff traits, talks sweetly to his imaginary grandchildren. "The past is a mist," he says. So is Moonlight.
Editor's Note: For more about Harold Pinter and his work and links to his plays reviewed at Curtainup check out our Pinter backgrounder.