Photo: Rahav Segev
Or, as the landlady says,
You know, there are millions of people all over the world that are spoiling their lives regretting that they didn't do something, or take up something, or keep on with something; when it's the blessing of God that the majority of them did just what they did; for they'd have only found out what you are finding out—that liking a thing, or talking a lot about it, is not an ability to do it.Ouch.
Unfortunately, director Jerry Ruiz allows his cast to inhabit different realities, including comic comedy, character comedy, and naturalistic drama. Some seem genuinely to be in the 1930s, some seem to be in the "1930s," and one would be more comfortable in 2013. For example, Carole Healey is delightful as Philip's potential mother-in-law; she's in the comic comedy in the "1930s." Rachel Moulton turns the potentially one-dimensional character of a seemingly ditzy poet into a poignant and real human being; she's in the character comedy in the 1930s. And Kathryn Kates, a late addition to the cast, fascinates as the landlady; she's in the naturalistic drama in the 21st century. Together, they, and some of the other cast members, are good enough to overcome being in different plays.
The sets by Steven C. Kemp and props by Joshua Yocum are wonderful. I don't know whether the paintings in the second act count as props or scenery, but either way, they are exactly what they should be, and fun to boot. I would gladly live in that boarding house. The costumes, by Carisa Kelly, are both attractive and effectively character-defining.
And, as always, thanks to the Mint for bringing these plays back to life and giving them productions that are always at least quite good and often wonderful.
(press ticket; fifth row on the aisle)