Saturday, February 07, 2009

Leah's Train

Photo/Michael Ou

As will surprise absolutely no-one, the train in Karen Hartman's play Leah's Train is a metaphor: "Time seems to stop on a train." This may clarify some of the delusional theater that follows, but it in no way justifies the tale of a mother, Hannah (Mia Katigbak), and daughter, Ruth (Jennifer Ikeda), caught in the shadow of their migratory ancestor, Leah (Kristine Haruna Lee). Saying that it does is akin to saying that anyone who prizes a kaddish cup, that apparently most synechdocal of objects, is Jewish. (Which is what this play does.) Nobody wants to see last-resort theater, but that's what Jean Randich's direction feels like: "We didn't connect with this play, but here's our best shot."

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