We all have our horror stories about celebrating Thanksgiving with our crazy relatives, but this one takes the cake. Ah, the rituals! The table setting, the family-heirloom tablecloth, the browning of the turkey, the perfect gravy, who to invite, and who you hope doesn’t show.
It’s all there in this amusing play by Kate Benson (winner of an Obie Award) with maniacally precise performances by all the relatives and a sweetly tragic view of the family misfit in action.
There are even two lively sports announcers to keep us posted on the significant goings-on. But, don’t be charmed into nostalgia, because there is method to Benson’s madness. This will be the most memorable Thanksgiving for all concerned, and perhaps even for the audience.
Nicole Gabriella Scipione manages to actually be emotionally moving as the often mocked family fool; Christopher Neiman and Kjai Block are truly funny as the warring announcers; Judith Ann Levitt and John MacKane are the oldsters who, in spite of handicaps, have their say; Sarah Lilly, Tegan Ashton Cohan and Debbie Jaffe are the possessed sister hostesses, while David Bickford and Rebecca Light fill in admirably as numerous other family guests.
Light-hearted direction by Laramie Dennis. The deliberately bleak set is by Morgan Lindsey Price, with lighting by Karyn Lawrence, and costumes by Jenny Foldenauer.
At Theatre Of Note, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, through Dec 10. For tickets: (323) 856-8611 or www.theatreofnote.com
Photos by Troy Blendell.