Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Love Love Love

One of the things I most enjoyed about Mike Bartlett's play is the ease at which he gets the audience just before he slides the knife in.  Biting, cunning, humorous, and genuinely quite an accurate indictment he makes of the Baby Boomer generation (with a dash of Millennial choke-on-this thrown in).

Three acts.  Three different times. One family.  Husband and wife meet at 19 yo kids in London in Act I.  Idealistic, free-thinking, oxford types -break the mold 60's is the time. We watch them rebel against authority, their parents, and ultimately themselves (the brothers).  When we slide into Act II, we are in the 80's.  Free thinkers all grown up - still smart, still entitled, and still thinking they are on top of the world - but now they have their own kids... their own problems... their own demons - yes - we see them generally neglect their children, fight, drink, smoke, and act exactly like the ME generation they were.  Clearly the family if affected.  We learn just how much at the end of Act II,   
As we glide into Act III we are now in the 90's - although they seem to have taken some liberties with an iPad and cell phones (i think that is the millennial mixture thrown in just to stir the pot even more). Parents are still assholes.  Funny, but assholes.  Kids are still damaged - some more than others although the parents wouldn't even notice because that would be admitting to something they don't want to deal with.  The younger generation drives this act - and we start to see the millennial whine and complain about their awful parents who have it all and they have none.
This ensemble cast is superb Richard Armitage (Kenneth, father), Alex Hurt (Henry, brother), Amy Ryan (Sandra, wife), Zoe Kazan (Rose, daughter), Ben Rosenfeld (Jamie, son),  Sets, divine and period appropriate (Derek McLane).  Michael Mayer must have had so much fun directing this one - letting some lines hang - and pounding others down our throats.

If you don't think enough wine was poured in Act II and III - just top yourself off before you head over to the Laura Pels off-Broadway house for Roundabout Theatre Company.