Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for us
A CurtainUp Review
by David Avery
What do you do when someone from your past who you thought was gone forever is suddenly thrust back into your life? With the ability to make legal decisions for you, whether you like it or not?
This is the dilemma that Lily Blue has in Waving Goodbye, now playing downtown at LATC. Lily (Heather Fox) is the daughter of Jonathan (Scott Cummings) and Amanda (Michelle Duffy) Blue. Jonathan leads mountain expeditions for a living (at least he did until a recent climbing accident took his life). Amanda has long been absent from Johanthan and Lily's lives, but has returned to take care of her daughter now that Jonathan is dead. She is an artist of some note, as evidenced by family friend Perry's (Hope Shapiro) desire to set her up with a new show. Amanda, who's artistic prestige stemmed from molds she made of Jonathan's hands and forearms, is less than enthusiastic about new work.
Lily confides her dissatisfaction with her new living arrangement to her friend Boggy (Damien Midkiff), a somewhat befuddled young man who is obviously infatuated with her. Amanda hates the Manhattan loft that was her ex-husband's residence: it's somewhat dilapidated, leaks, and is full of old junk that reminds her of memories she'd just as soon forget. On top of it, the mortgage is due and money is short.
The play is essentially a family drama that reviews the choices that brought this particular family to its current state. Tensions run high between Lily and Amanda as they attempt to sort out the complicated mass of emotions that surround Jonathan's death. The actors establish their characters convincingly. Pachino uses flashbacks and asides to flesh out the story director Martin Bedoian deftly maneuvers everyone around the stage at a rapid clip (though he does employ one rather overly dramatic touch with some water and an appeal to the heavens).
Sibyl Wickersheimer's set suggests a worse-for-wear downtown loft brilliantly, and the multiple ladders the actors are constantly climbing add a layer of tension to the action. The lighting effects used to highlight Jonathan's beyond-the-grave status are creative as well.
The dialog falls a bit flat and smacks of the kitchen-sink drama easily accessed on the Lifetime Network. The script generally doesn't cover any new territory in parent-child relationships, with an ending that takes a very fast turn into quick-resolution land. Guilt feelings don't provide enough substance to support the play's conclusions. All this makes for a play that isn't as good as it could be.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.