Friday, May 01, 2009

The Gingerbread House

photo: Carol Rosegg

The lights are barely up on the mod-austere set when a husband (played by Jason Butler Harner) suggests to his wife (played by Sarah Paulson) that they sell their two kids - don't they deserve to be happy and free from the parental duties that have stressed their once fun marriage? The heightened acting style (under Evan Cabnet's direction) and the severe set design prep us for an absurdism that Mark Schultz's play doesn't follow through on: eventually, we're asked to invest in the situation as if it was real rather than as the absurd allegory it first seemed to be about the selfishness in our culture. The acting is unified in style and tone, but Bobby Cannavale, as the outrageously slick baby deal broker, comes close to stealing the show.

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