Friday, May 13, 2016

The Empty Nesters: UNRATED

 It's a familiar problem to those of us whose children have grown up and left the house. It's really quiet around here, isn't it Hon? Garret Jon Groenweld's "The Empty Nesters" takes us through the angst, as Mom and Dad attempt to figure out what's going to happen next.

Greg (John Walker) and Frances (Pamela Gaye Walker) have dropped off their daughter at her new college in Arizona. They've driven on to tour the Grand Canyon, but can't stop thinking about her not being home any more. Frances doesn't understand why her daughter hasn't phoned her yet, seeing as the two are used to talking several times a day on the phone. Greg, meanwhile, hasn't stopped complaining about the price of parking, the curios in the gift shop, the length of the ticket line and everything except his sadness.

The two begin to take it out on each other. Frances drops a bomb and Greg reacts. Clearly, both parents are bereft. It is a feeling we have all had.

But it doesn't really feel like a play yet, it's more like a chat room conversation. Nothing much happens, there are no surprises and the ending is anti-climactic, so the audience isn't sure the show is over.

Frances: "I don't think I can face her empty room."

Greg: "What are we going to do instead?"

That's about it. The Walkers are trained actors, hit their marks and deliver their lines. But there is little mystery here. Something needs to happen. They're in Arizona. Maybe a UFO?


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division has decided not to rate this show. It's better than Two Stars, because there are nice moments. But not quite enough yet to merit a Three Star recommendation.

"The Empty Nesters"
Z-Space Below
470 Florida Street, San Francisco
through June 11

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