Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
The title refers to graves situated to face the rising sun. Come the End of Days, the chosen will fly to heaven. In Carol Lynn Pearson's drama, Andrew McCormick faces east before his time, and his religion has banned him from a blessed afterlife. He was a gay Mormon, excommunicated from the church. So conflicted between body and soul, Andrew committed suicide at age 24. His parents, Ruth and Alex, stand before an open grave and conduct a second funeral service: this time with the truth. Alex, a radio celebrity famous for his one-minute spots about fatherly advice, faces the hypocrisy of never heeding his words. Ruth lives for eternity. Admitting her son is gay threatens her ultimate status. Andrew's death shatters three lives: his parents' and his lover Marcus's. The play and the tightly crafted Diversionary production move not toward a grand rebuilding, but more a potential, albeit incomplete, repatching of traumatized shards (Amy Gilbert Reams's autumnal set mirrors the task at hand: it's a reconstructed tree, the trunk axed blocks of wood nailed together). To be remembered for her direction of Terra Nova last year at Compass Theatre, Marybeth Bielawski-DeLeo serves the play, and some quirky rhythms, well. John Polak's Alex loves to hear himself talk but has the courage to speak words he never thought he would. Scott Striegel plays Marcus like a building that's been neutron bombed. And Dana Hooley does a remarkable job as adamant Ruth, providing depths to a character who, in lesser hands, would just become a monster.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, April 5, 2009
- Sundays, 2pm & 7pm
- Wednesdays, 7:30pm
- Thursdays, 7:30pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm