Thinner Than Water's Clashing Clan
Renees an uptight, perpetually aggrieved suburban mom. Garys an overgrown teenager with a penchant for pot. Cassies a twentysomething drifter in pajamas. All that these half-siblings have in common is a lot of pent-up hostilityuntil their absentee fathers unexpected illness forces them to reunite. Melissa Rosss new play, Thinner Than Watera LAByrinth Theater Company production, now playing at the Cherry Pitis an exercise in anger mismanagement. Each snappy, sitcom-y scene is well-written, but as the angry retorts pile up, were left wading through a wearying compendium of family frustrations.
Ross leaves no variety of altercation untouched: Her angsty trio engages in passive-aggressive tiffs, heated spats, and devastating blowouts. They fight in stores, living rooms, and hospitals, berating each other for delinquency, incompetence, and bitchiness (you know, things youve never heard anyone scream about onstage before). Ross has a way with amusing one-liners, but they dont come often enough. And despite several cookie-cutter confessional scenes, we never really learn what went so wrong for this terminally troubled clan.
That Elizabeth Canavan, Alfredo Narciso, and Lisa Joyce make Rosss squabblers watchable testifies to their generous performances and Mimi ODonnells smart direction. Deirdre OConnellplaying Gwen, the much-maligned patriarchs latest conquestis the one character whose plight is truly sympathetic: Like us, shes stuck listening to somebody elses family feud.
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