‘night, Mother (Review)

‘night, Mother (Review)
‘night, Mother (Review)
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THE PLAY: This 1983 Pulitzer Prize winner still holds up. At 8pm, an adult daughter tells her mother that she’s going to kill herself at 9:30. The 90 minutes (without intermission) starts casually, but builds in dramatic impact as they discuss their past and the reasons for her suicide.

 

THE PRODUCTION: A two-person show pretty much depends on the strength of the actors and their interaction. These two work. Kimberly Jones Clark creates a daughter with plucky determination and casual strength. Catherine Shaffner (whose discomfort with the heat distracted me) is a natural at mining the country charm and comic potential, but slowly reveals a mother who’s pleading, then desperate, then grippingly tragic. If there’s any flaw it’s that the first hour is consistently strident, without any low-key relief. There’s no denying that the final moments are as powerful as you expect. Director David Emerson Toney has kept the pace up, while making effective use of the entire stage. The realistic set works, although the sophisticated wall colors contradict simple middle class taste.

 

THE POINT: This powerful play packs a punch with building dramatic intensity.

 

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