Thursday, November 29, 2007
The plot of Kristen Palmer's Local Story would either be buried deep in some small town's monthly newspaper or found running in The National Enquirer, but either way, it lacks drama and truth. How else to deal with the entropic, meandering plot, a series of disjointed ideas flung across space and time to eventually coalesce in the nameless town and faceless homes of this play? One moment, Betsy (Keira Keeley) is in Colorado; D'lady (Sarah Kate Jackson) is on the road, talking about fate; and Jimmy (Mark David Watson) is calling after his lover to come back, if not for him, then at least to return his car. The next, Betsy's suddenly living with Gloria (Marielle Heller), a solitary figure with a penchant for strays, and Jimmy's shacked up with Bubba (Travis York), a man who hasn't left his house since his heart went idle three years ago. D'lady's the girl who broke his heart (for Jimmy), and Betsy's the girl who stole Jimmy's: oh, and every so often, the sky opens to rain down Betsy's dreams upon her (car keys, for example). If that weren't enough, Bubba's sister, Amory (Havilah Brewster) keeps nudging her husband, Roy (Ben Scaccia) for a baby, so much so that he sees ghosts on the side of the road. Nobody seems to like anybody else, nor to have a clue as to why that's the case, and Palmer's writing keeps getting lost in a moody wistfulness that is too much past tense, and not enough of the present.