MAKE BELIEVE: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman


(photo credit: Joan Marcus)

I have long been a fan of playwright Bess Wohl, soon to be making her anticipated Broadway debut with Grand Horizons.  Ever since I saw Small Mouth Sounds, she has been on my theatrical radar, and Make Believe is yet another reason I continue to be a fan.

Directed exquisitely/interestingly by Michael Greif, the show features a gifted cast of all ages who consistently deliver believable, nuanced performances including Kim Fischer, Susannah Flood, Ryan Foust, Harrison Fox, Marey Heary, Brad Heberlee, Casey Hilton and Samantha Mathis.

The four Conlee kids, ages 5 to 12, are playing house in the attic (charming/detailed set design by David Zinn) of their home, when it becomes evident that are home alone without parental supervision.  We aren’t sure how long it’s been or will be, but we sense something is awry and quite disturbing.  Their adolescent coping skills prematurely get kicked into high gear, as their playtime is filled with both laughter and trepidation.

Hence the stage is skillfully set by Wohl for intrigue, playfulness and emotion….all of which draw us into this strong family unit, with major tugs at our hearts strings.

Fast forward 32 years and we meet them again, this time in grief, brought together in their family home where they no longer live. We get to experience how each has morphed into a high functioning adult, despite whatever challenges we witnessed from their childhood. Back in their old attic stomping ground, things are revealed, and interesting twists present themselves (I don’t want to share too much). Suffice it to say that Make Believe leaves much to ponder in a good way, and I will be purchasing tickets to Grand Horizons as soon as possible.

The show is running through 9/22….so grab your tickets while you can.  Visit www.2ST.com for details or call 212/246-4422.  It’s running at the Tony Kiser Theatre at 305 West 43 Street.

 

 

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