note: entire contents copyright 2005 by Beverly Creasey
From the “police” district to the “theater” district, Richard Kramer knows his way around a script. His television shows (“My So-Called Life” and “Once and Again”) reveal a quick wit and an earnest heart. His TV stories are always charming and insightful so you expect his play, THEATER DISTRICT to be the same.
In one way, it reaches higher than television can. THEATER DISTRICT tries to inspire the courage, as Martin Luther famously said, to “go forth and sin bravely”—meaning that life will include some regrets, some missteps, but that mustn’t prevent us from living the best life we can. Kramer writes with an almost religious fervor, so it comes as no surprise that he uses “The Nun’s Story” as a metaphor for commitment and experimentation.
Kramer’s characters are funny and vulnerable and director Wes Savick gets lovely performances from his cast. NYPD BLUE’s Bill Brochtrup plays the rock around which a family gathers for stability and inspiration. His guidance is almost angelic in temperament, especially when dealing with his lover’s (Liam Torres) inquisitive teenage son, masterfully played by Edward Tournier. Jaime Cepero III and Tournier nearly steal the show from their elders, so engaging are their portrayals. Neil A. Casey delights with another wacky performance (He could just read the phonebook and you’d be seizing from an overdose of laughter.)
Melinda Lopez gives a quirky performance as the boy’s over protective, sometimes paranoid mother and Barlow Adamson gets giggles from salad ingredients. As The Who so eloquently sang (years ago) “The kids are all right.”