In Lyle Kessler’s new play we meet two brothers who were robbed of a mother and are having to deal with their towering aggressive father. The elder son is a drifter who fled years before, the younger is a recluse who secretly writes stories. Although Father is a loudmouth, he has love for his sons, but keeps it as well hidden as the fortune he plans to leave as his legacy.
The first half of the play promises to explore this great divide in families. There is a baseball game that shows togetherness can work, but then it veers away into a series of senseless physical battles. These folk, who live in middle America, seem to reside in a constant state of conflict and rage. When two people climb in the window looking for the eldest son it gets more confusing. Here is a pregnant girl who lacks a uterus (sic), and her demented gun-toting sibling who lost an arm in some catastrophe.
The actors are all good: Richard Chaves as ambiguous dad; Adam Haas Hunter as rebellious son; Brandon Bales as timid kid brother; Kimberly Alexander as bewildered girlfriend, and Mark McClain Wilson as the crazy interloper.
Energetically directed by David Fofi. Produced by Bren Coombs and Shannon McManus for Elephant Theatre Company. Set, sound, and lighting design by Elephant Stageworks.
At the Lillian Theatre.1076 N. Lillian Way, Hollywood, through August 29th. Tickets available at www.plays411.net/divide or by calling 323-960-4429.
Photos by Bren Coombs.