I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard (review)

I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard (review)
I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard (review)
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THE PLAY: A successful playwright sits with his daughter, as they wait for the reviews from her first New York acting job.


THE PRODUCTION: As he reminisces and pontificates, the first hour of this play dominated by the father (Alan Sader). This leaves his daughter (Liz Earnest) to listen attentively and reply with supportive one-word responses. While remaining cantankerous, Sader has toned down his often bombastic style to a more subtle mode. Earnest makes a good, empathetic listener and her richly nuanced portrayal adds complexity to her character. This is supposed to be a two-hander, but most of the show relies on one-sided monologues and almost every passage could have been shorter. Still, director Deejay Gray has coaxed rich performances from both actors, while keeping the dialogue interesting with active staging. The music “echoes” are an artistic touch that doesn’t add a lot (especially the first time, when it seemed like a mistake). David Melton’s attractive set feels like a living room was transplanted to the middle of the theatre (with audiences on both sides). Michael Jarett’s lighting reinforces the dramatic moments. Running time: 2:05


THE POINT: It feels like this show is more for actors than the audience, but luckily, this duo creates richly realized performances.


3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)


At TheatreLab thru 2/17


Liz Earnest & Alan Sader (Photos by Tom Topinka)

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