Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Essentially, Lisa Loomer's dramedy is a topical issue play - as a suburban mom narrator susses out whether she should medicate her ADD-addled son, we're presented with even amounts of argument on either side. (Arguably, the play avoids clearly advocating one or the other, it doesn't pull a Next To Normal and hard-sell some naive easy answer.) What saves the play from dull, well-meaning Lifetime movie status is that the playwright has hyped it up with dynamic meta business - the kid announces the scene changes, the mom tells other actors to take on multiple roles, etc. - as if pitched to an audience that is itself attention disordered. The production design follows suit, with a two leveled sensory overloaded unit set. The show is lucky to have Cynthia Nixon as the mom: she can play the character's earnest concern without making her come off like a drip, and she gives the fourth-wall breaking narration an easy charm. Although it is more topical than deep and doesn't engage much emotion, the play goes down easily as light entertainment.