Theater archives

Bed Lines


If the only suspense in a play is whether its hero will ever get out of bed, then you can probably bet the dramatic stakes won’t be very high. Far from a deliberate farce of futility, Martin Casella’s Scituate offers only a conventional “dramedy” as inert as its shut-in protagonist. Stewart, the depressed hero, may have good cause for the mopes (the death of his lover from AIDS); and visits from his partner’s ghost encourage him to stay where he is. But it takes him a month, and many flashbacks, to do what the audience knows is coming all along: He learns to move on. Scituate (named after the seaside Massachusetts town where the play is set) can be heartfelt and sweet, but is ultimately superficial when it comes to addressing real pain. All the clever chatter masks an unwillingness to confront more messy emotions. And for someone bedridden, Stewart looks just fine. His bed, we’re told, is “warm and safe and cozy”—and so’s the play, to a fault. Director David Hilder provides some heavenly atmospherics (Eric Satie music, ocean waves) but none of it saves Scituate from being utterly earthbound.