What happens to a family where the mother, a timid yet intelligent woman, lives in terror of ever leaving the safety of their home? In Tom Baum’s revelatory play the subject is agoraphobia and how a family, hoping to calm the fears of the matriarch, create terrors of their own through lies and equivocation.
She lives with her ear cocked at all times for the sounds of invasion, while the domineering father thinks he’s being caring by helping her hide from life.
When their only child returns home with her teenage daughter, family secrets start to be exposed. While the daughter, whose marriage and career have fallen apart, reaches for meditative help in this maelstrom of emotion, it is through the blunt words of a candid teenager that real life intrudes into this self-induced prison.
The superb cast are led by Joanna Miles, faultless as a woman trapped into society’s role of female helplessness and dependence. David Selby, is magnificent as the father, a raging bull with the heart of a child; Anna Nicholas is excellent as the impatient but responsible daughter, and Lizzy Rich is charming as a cheeky yet tender teen who has secrets of her own.
Sensitively directed by Asaad Kelada, with set and lighting by Tom Meleck, sound by Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski and costumes by Betty Pecha Madden. Produced by Laura Hill.
At Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N Fairfax, Hollywood, through Dec. 13. Tickets: 323-673-0544 or www.greenwaycourt.org. Photos by Ed Krieger.
Also reviewed in the December issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY