Monday, October 22, 2012

Falling

Posted by Mondschein

"Falling" at Minetta Lane Theatre, October 14, 2012

(photo: Carol Rosegg)

There's an intense situation happening at Minetta Lane Theatre, courtesy of Deanna Jent's new play making its New York premiere.

18 year old Josh (Daniel Everidge) suffers with fairly extreme autism.  Being over 6 feet tall, weighing well over 200 pounds combined with his occasionally aggressive and violent behavior sets the stakes pretty high. Tami (Julia Murney) and Bill (Daniel Pearce) work very hard to keep their son under control by emphasizing a calm and steady daily routine.  Little sister Lisa (Jacey Powers) just wants it all to go away, but what 14 year old wouldn't?  When Grammy Sue (Celia Howard) visits, bible in hand, she gets a frightening lesson in the reality of her son's family dynamics.  One particularly violent episode sets up Tami to imagine how life with her family might have been different (though its set up could have been a little more clear).

The 75 minute production moves well under the hand of director Lori Adams, handling all the ups and downs of a day in Josh's life.  The life is at times shocking, at time mundane, which makes it ever more real.  She draws excellent performances from her cast.

Most notable is Mr. Everidge, the mercurial, autistic giant among his caretakers.  His Josh is an emotional 2 year old in the body of a full grown man, completely unfiltered and uninhibited.  Ms. Murney's Tami verges on exhaustion from the effort it takes to keep herself and her family on track.  She struggles a bit in the moments of vulnerability but overall captures the drive to move forward.

John Stark has created a realistic setting for this stressed family, punctuated with the requisite child-friendly elements that would help manage a child like Josh. Tristan Raine's costumes and Julie Mack's lighting support without drawing attention to themselves.

Falling is on an open-ended run.  Get tickets here.

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