Sunday, October 12, 2008


photo: Joan Marcus

Adam Rapp's new play has some stray moments, many of which belong to Annette O'Toole. but they're hard to enjoy once it's clear that the play's lone conflict is the unconvincing and unwelcome suspense of whether the teenaged main character will bash his mom's brains in with a hammer. No matter how much cheap condescension Rapp (who also directed) heaps on Mom - we're cued for most of the play to snicker at her bad cassettes (Juice Newton, for instance) and at her awe of "Rent" (thinly disguised in the script as "Survivin': The Musical") - she's infinitely more interesting than her son, a walking and talking blank slate. A good deal of the play is devoted to his interactions with a mystery woman, a contrived character if there ever was one but at least Katherine Waterston's intensity makes her initially fascinating to watch.

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