note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Beverly Creasey
KIMBERLY AKIMBO is David Lindsay Abaire’s odd, little “growing up weird” comedy about a strange child who at last finds love and acceptance. Abaire’s off-the-wall FUDDY MEERS also centered around a dysfunctional family coping with disease. Where FUDDY MEERS (head injury, stroke) was wacky and wild, KIMBERLY AKIMBO (hyper-virulent porphyria) is more subdued, more domesticated—although it does have the requisite criminal element common to both.
The little-old girl’s ex-con auntie is the only member of the family sympathetic to the teenager who is rapidly decaying (think aging in dog years). Father drinks incessantly while mother talks interminably to her belly, focusing on the unborn baby who will clearly take the place of sick little-old Kimberly.
Kim is one cute kid, even if she doesn’t look like one. She looks exactly like the very grown up Judith McIntyre. Director Jason Southerland gets quirky performances from the talented cast, with McIntyre scoring a coup by making Kim a squirmy, adorable little wiseacre. She’s have to be, living with Marc Carver for a dad and Amy Barry for a mom. They’re simply nuts. Elizabeth Quincy brings a bright neon energy to the stage as the manic, but caring, check kiting aunt.
The great treat in KIMBERLY AKIMBO is a high school sophomore named Jacob Liberman, who plays Kim’s boyfriend. Liberman brings plenty of heart to the role right along with the hilarity. His word games are the highlight of the play. I can’t stop annagramming (Nice Job, Lab Ram) and pallindroming (Panda Had Nap). Maybe that happens to everyone who sees the play! Let me know.