Tuesday, May 08, 2012

4000 Miles

Photo: Erin Baiano
There is a great distance between any two people, not just across generations -- Leo (Gabriel Ebert) shows up at his grandmother Vera's (Mary Louise Wilson's) door after going AWOL on a bike trip across America -- but across a gamut of emotional feelings, refracted through Leo's slightly unnatural feelings for his unseen adopted sister (voiced, I believe, by Greta Lee, who appears in the play as an immature, art-freak of a one-night-stand) and his almost unbearable love for his girlfriend Bec (Zoe Winters). Unlike Amy Herzog's previous work, After the Revolution, 4000 Miles doesn't appear to be interested in bridging that distance, so much as in quietly acknowledging it, a task that director Daniel Aukin (This) is well-suited for.

However, for all the naturalistic charm, tenderness, and sweetness of 4000 Miles, the concluding thought is that Herzog appears to have traveled largely on a treadmill. That moment of insight, of connection? It never comes, and with both Bec and Leo running away (to one degree or another) at the end of the play and with the spectre of a life-well-lived-but-also-almost-over hanging over Vera, it feels as if a second act is missing (and this in a play that's already a bit long at a hundred intermissionless minutes). The final monologue -- a sort of eulogy -- suggests that we're not meant to know everything; the catch-22 of Herzog's talented writing is that we want to.

[Read full review here]

($40.00 ticket; H109)

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