Wednesday, March 9, 2011


"Kin" at Playwrights Horizons, March 5, 2011

Playwrights Horizons continues to bring interesting new plays to their stages.  Bathsheba Doran's new play, Kin may not be as high up the quality list as previous productions like Circle, Mirror, Transformation, but it's a respectable effort if a little unfocused.

Anna (Kristen Bush), an English poetry researcher, is heavily involved with an Irish physical trainer, Sean (Patch Darragh).  Her best friend Helena (Laura Heisler) is a struggling actress - manic, nerdy and awkward.  Anna's widowed and distant father, Adam (Cotter Smith), has had a long term, on-again-off-again affair with Kay (Kit Flanagan) who is suffering from cancer.  Add to that Sean's widowed mother, Linda (Suzanne Bertish) who remains agoraphobic in Ireland after a physical assault when Sean was a child.

Spoiler Alert

There are some very interesting scenes that explore bits of the various relationships, but I struggled to find much of a through line that tied all of the unrelated subplots together.  It was certainly a step above a Lifetime movie, yet it ends abruptly on an oddly existential note.

Director Sam Gold generates uniformly capable performances, with only a few worth noting further.  Ms. Flanagan created a lovely moment as Kit lay on her deathbed, consoling Mr. Smith's Adam, who in turn supports Sean's mother very tenderly as she confesses the nature of her physical assault.

Paul Steinberg's set works a bit too hard to frame the various settings, requiring some overlong transitions from scene to scene.

Kin runs through April 3, 2011.  Check here for discount ticket information.

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