Off Broadway (and sometimes Broadway) Reviews and Information.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This Is Fiction: Review at Cherry Lane Studio

This Is Fiction is the first play by Megan Hart, an accomplished actress in off-Broadway circles.  Mounted at the small Cherry Lane Studio Theatre, it is an engrossing and humerous family drama that speaks with an honest voice.

Bernardo Cubria and Aubyn Philabaum in This Is Fiction

Aubyn Philabaum is Amy, a writer whose first novel is about to be published.  But before she releases it, Amy needs to discuss the story with her family.  While the story is fiction, it is based on her family’s journey.  From the moment the story moves to her family home in New Jersey, the audience knows the book will be about the missing mother.

Richard Masur and Michelle David
Amy’s Father is well portrayed by Richard Masur, as an older man with the beginning of dementia.  Mr. Masur does an excellent job of defining a good man who isn’t completely in control of his facilities, but still is able to hold it together when he wants to.  Michelle David is excellent as Celia, the bitter sister who has taken care of dad for too many years.  Ms. David’s portrayal is so tight, that the few moments she relaxes cast a calm over the proceedings.  She defines the mood of the play at any moment.

The final character is Ed, affectionately played by Bernado Cubria.  Mr. Cubria’s role is primarily that of a catalyst, but he brings a real warmth to the character of Ed.  Ed manages to bring a better side of Amy out.  Aubyn Philabaum does a good job as Amy, showcasing more than bitterness or anger.  She has the thankless task of postponing the inevitable discussion, but Ms. Philabaum fills in the little moments of family time in small ways that seem quite authentic.

Well paced and directed by Shelley Butler, This Is Fiction moves quickly and doesn’t drag.  The piece employees humor, but never falsely.  Ms. Hart’s story is very well done.  The main device is the same one used in Other Desert Cities, but it is used more intimately here – as a way for Amy to bridge the gap between herself and her family.  It is a touching and funny piece.

This is Fiction
Playwright: Megan Hart
Director: Shelly Butler
Cast: Bernardo Cubria, Michelle David, Richard Masur, Aubyn Philabaum

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