Things may get bad in our lives. They actually do get bad. And not only to a few, to some, to many, but to all of us without exception. Unless one is too much of an idiot to live in a happy state of mind where insanity is a condition…well, that’s a different story. But in this story, as dull as you will think it is in the first few minutes you see the admirable cast coming onstage, there seems to be a ghost which causes troubles. Is it a ghost?
It’s Brigid Blake’s apartment (Sarah Steele), where her parents and sister come for a Thanksgiving visit for the fist time since she moved in with Richard Saad (Arian Moayed), her husband. Eventually we will understand why her father hasn’t been sleeping well, and why the mother seems a bit disturbed. So disturbed that she talks about ghosts. And not only that, she actually comes fro Scranton, a tiny town in Pennsylvania with 75,000 inhabitants, to New York City with over 6 million residents, for a visit. No wonder why Brigit Blake’s mother gives her a statue of the Virgin Mary to protect her new home, I guess she really needs it: her new apartment, where she lives with her stable, sweet and smart husband is a duplex in Chinatown, a place that you’ll only understand what it looks like when you see it. And for even worse, their upstairs neighbor is a loud Chinese lady who only speaks Mandarin, so they can’t ask her to walk softly on the wooden floors. It’s a very different reality than that of Scranton, that’s for sure. In other words, it shows how tough life is for those who move to New York City in search of their dreams, and how strong they have to be to recover from all the problems they face in this fascinating city. I loved the duplex myself–the set makes me want to move to that cute, creepy Chinatown duplex, because it reminds me of my early years in New York.
I shouldn’t tell you any more about this story, because naturally you’ll have to go to the Hellen Hayes Theatre to find out all about it. But I can tell you the following: As said earlier in this review, it’s an amazing cast, certainly. The overlapping dialogue is done with mastery. It’s a simple, dull family story that the audience doesn’t believe can be turned into such a rich story. It has perfect lighting and sound (only when you see it you’ll understand why I mention it here). A suspense which will make you wonder what the last minute will be like, and yet you won’t. And before you know it, that ghost will have to come out somehow…
THEATRE REVIEW by Lucas Eller, New York