Home > "Other Desert Cities" (review) thru 10/19
"Other Desert Cities" (review) thru 10/19

Short Description of "Other Desert Cities" (review) thru 10/19

“Other Desert Cities” (review)

thru 10/19

Capital Repertory Theatre

N. Pearl, Albany

capitalrep.org

 

In an almost 'the devil made me do it' kind of way, Capital Rep is venturing from the norm and continues to bring us quasi—emphasis, quasi—alternative and Off-Broadway theater. It did that with The God Game, a play I wasn't crazy about, and it does it now with Other Desert Cities running thru October 19, another play I'm not crazy about. The God Game was a newbie and a chance. Other Desert Cities, on the other hand, lingered Off- Broadway for a few whole weeks and died a quick death on Broadway. Both plays center around a Republican family with a dirty little secret, and for one reason or another, both leave you shrugging your shoulders saying, “so?” The secrets just aren't big enough to peak my interest. I want to know if it was Miss Scarlet in the library with the wrench. Now, that's a secret.

 

Make no mistake about it: The cast and acting in this performance is as good as it can possibly get. Lymen Wyeth (Kevin McGuire) is the Republican patriarch now holed up in the desert during Christmas time with his wife, son and daughter. The daughter just wrote a book about her deceased brother and life in the family and is about to publish it. A major magazine is going to be publishing excerpts, and the family is in deep distress they will again be in the spotlight. Yes, there is a secret, wink-wink, and through all the thick and thin of the impending climax in Act II, home of the big reveal, the learned moment has as much big bang and surprise as a lit match on a stormy night. Again, I found myself saying, “so?”.

 

The play is about a fictitious family you don't know, a secret you don't care about, and a climax that just doesn't do it for me.

 

But then there's that acting I was talking about.

 

 

Brenny Rabine does an exemplary performance, and buoys this stale plot. And who wouldn't venture out in a snow storm to see the spectacular Kevin McGuire? The acting is so powerful, you almost forget how piddly the big family secret was.

 

With this play having spent just a few weeks off Broadway and never having been a smash-hit on Broadway, I think the handwriting was on the wall. The who-cares script leaves me longing for a “Red”....or a “Man of Lamancha”....or a “Secret Garden”....

 

-Richard DiMaggio

 

Directed by Michael Bush

 

With:

Kevin McGuire (Lymen Wyeth)

Ellen Parker (Polly Wyeth)

Brenny Rabine (Brooke Wyeth)

Torsten Hillouse (Trip Wyeth)

Marcy McGuigan (Silda)

 

From Capitalrep.org:

 

“After six years away, prodigal daughter Brooke Wyeth returns to her Palm Springs Desert home to celebrate the holidays and announce plans to publish her childhood memoir – complete with revelations of deep family secrets. Retired ambassador dad, savvy mom, rehabbing aunt and ne'er-do-well brother team up to stop her and the joys of the family reunion quickly unravel in a surprising twist.

Written by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright, Jon Robin Baitz, this searing comedy-drama with banter that dazzles was described by the New York Times as "one of the most satisfying grown-up play.”the decade."

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Address: Capital Repertory, Albany

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