#149. Family dinner always serves up the real and the fantasy. Around a shared meal, people fork it in and spoon it up. I remember when I was five, the supper conversation consisted of my older sisters talking about what happened in their classrooms, my younger sister talking about what happened on her magic school bus of animals and I talked about what happened on my soap opera, “The Doctors.” So about 50% of the table chat was steeped in illusion. As adults, we try to sit down to at least for a biannual family feast. Even with the addition of nine kids and a few brothers-in-law, the discussion is rooted in the past. The sisters still talk about what happened but the real family drama is what is not said. So, now the pretend factor hovers at about 80%.
Steep Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of MOMENT. Nial has decided to visit his mom. He hasn’t been in his hometown in fourteen years. When he arrives with his new bride en route to his international art opening, his mother is overjoyed to see him. His sisters have mixed feelings, especially Niamh. As a child, Nial did something unforgettable and to some, even unforgivable. So, as her mom welcomes Nial over a cup of hot tea, Niamh turns the reunion into a scalding tempest. MOMENT is one hundred and ten moments of superb.
Playwright Deirdre Kinahan writes a compelling tale of real characters struggling with a horrific event. As the story deconstructs to reveal the juicy pulp at the core of the family drama, Kinahan effectively shows transformational growth in all the characters. The individual evolutions are surprisingly bittersweet. Under Jonathan Berry’s masterful direction, the Lynch family is the real thing. Dialogue overlaps with an authentic, unscripted feel. Polite civilities combined with infrequent sniping feel naturally awkward. This is a genuine family that sits down to tea when they should really be stepping into a ring. The mega-talented cast go the rounds with smoldering rage. Josh Odor (Nial) and Cynthia Marker (Niamh),in particular, fill the stage with fierce anger. Later, they both relive the past with very different emotional performances. Odor delivers a heart-wrenching soliloquy while Marker becomes light-hearted and playful. It’s potent stuff to contemplate how their futures changed in a moment. In different way of dysfunctional denial, Julia Siple (Ciara) and Maggie Cain (Teresa) try to keep the family peace. Siple has a powerful moment of asking for the truth.
As adults, our childhood becomes unescapable and inevitable supper chitchat combined with silent pauses. MOMENT is an Irish family in turmoil. The Lynches finally deal with the lingering aftermath from their childhood. The story is unputdownable and the ending is unexpectedly loving. Take this MOMENT and get a ticket... Tick-Tock! Don't miss your moment to see this selling-out show!
Running Time: One hour and fifty minutes includes an intermission
At Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn
Written by Deirdre Kinahan
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm
EXTENDED thru September 16th
Buy Tickets at www.steeptheatre.com