Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Another Way Home" ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG

"You see, it was quite a weekend. And it would go on the rest of our lives," says Philip, the dad (Mark Pinter). He and his wife, Lillian (Kim Martin-Cotten), have driven from New York to Maine, to spend the weekend at Camp Kickapoo with their 17-year old son Joey (Daniel Petzold). Joey's disgust for his parents appears to be as psychotic as it is understandable. The parents bicker between themselves, they have what is obviously just one in a long string of fights, Philip screams at Joey and Joey takes off. For hours, all through the night, no one knows where he is, or even if he may have done something horrible to himself.

Now, the parents must come to grips with what the possibility of losing their troubled son would mean.

They are aided in their questioning by camp counselor Mike T., played with a lot of heart by Jeremy Kahn, and by their 16-year-old daughter Nora (Riley Krull). The kids are right on top of the issues, acting like adults, as the parents squabble like babies.

I just want to be alone, OK?

No, that's not okay. Not when we came all the way up here to be with you. You know you could show an ounce -- just an ounce -- of gratitude.

He doesn't need to thank you for coming. You're his father.

You never let me forget it.

What's that supposed to mean?

I can't take the two of you anymore. Talk about grating.

Hey, does anyone like lobster? Because there are some really awesome lobster shacks...

The ending is a bit formulaic, but playwright Anna Ziegler wants to leave us with a snapshot of hope for this family. For us, the parents could be a little more redeeming -- they are both such disagreeable people -- and don't seem to grow during this drama.  But that's the parent in us talking. It's easy to identify with the horror of trying to raise a troubled child.

RATINGS  ☼  ☼  ☼  BANG   
The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Another Way Home" Three Stars with a BANGLE of PRAISE. There isn't enough meat on these bones to justify an extra star, though director Meredith McDonough does not allow the pace of the 80-minute one-act show to falter. The BANGLE is for the actors playing the kids -- Jeremy Kahn, Riley Krull and Daniel Petzold. These three are young adults, not children, but they help us remember the angst of being in between.

"Another Way Home"
Magic Theatre
Fort Mason Center, Building D, San Francisco
Through Dec. 2

No comments: