By Kathy Carpenter
La Jolla Playhouse Presents: the world premiere production of The Year To Come, written by Lindsey Ferrentino. Directed by UC San Diego M.F.A. graduate Anne Kauffman Presented in the beautiful Mandell Weiss Theate. A showcase venue.
Linsey Ferrentino, is a New York based playwright, from Florida, where many of her plays take place, such as “The Year To Come.” Although she was living in London when she wrote the show. Where her critically acclaimed “Ugly Lies the Bone,” was playing at The National Theatre.
La jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new in American theatre. An innovative theatre where fresh is more than just a word.
The Year To come, is the work of a visionary. The play takes us through the New Year’s Eve’s reunion of a Florida based family, traversing back through 18 years. Starting with New Year’s Eve, 2018 and ending with 2000. Asking us the question how did we get where we are today?
A style that does not quite work for me. The show made me and everyone else laugh out loud, a lot. Filled us with family memories, and drama. Gave us heart felt moments, and had tremendous acting. For me though although I enjoyed the play, I’m too much of a forward linear person to really get it. I watched one other play that went backward, then forward, and I felt the same way. What’s the point? Even though both audiences love the show.
One interesting note on this play. Worth coming out for is the real onstage swimming pools. The play takes place in a screened in patio in Florida every New Year;s Eve. With plenty of pool dipping. and family banter, but how many theatres out there can do something like this?
The playhouse boasts quite the cast, Adam Chanler-Beret, from Broadway’s Amelie, and Peter and The Starcatcher, who plays Jim the gay son. Bringing the pouty, misunderstood by dad, chip on his shoulder character to life., with a realism factor. Pomme Koch, his boyfriend, from Broadway. played his roled extremely well. Marcia Debonis, who plays the aunt, is from off Broadway. Jane Kaczmarek , who plays mom, is from Malcom in the Middle. Jonathan Nichols, playing Frank, the dad, and my favorite character, is from Grey’s Anatomy. I loved the sarcastic humor of his character. His timing spot on. And, Peter Van Wagner, starring as pop pop also comes from Broadway. The audience favorite . Ray Anthony Thomas, playing the uncle and representing a mixed racial marriage. One more member in the cast is the spunky Jenna Dioguardi, who played Abby. I adored her character as sister. Wished her role was bigger.
The costumes as such were clothes you would expect to depict the Florida beach scene. Living in Southern California pretty much the same thing.
The story of the family mirrored society, including politics, current issues, awkward moments. What one might consider the new norm.
A time of year for reflection. Let The Year To Come be your guide.
The Year To Come Decemember 4 – 30, 2018
The Mandell Weiss Theatre
La Jolla PLayhouse
2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla
Diana A New Musical World Premeire
Begins February 19, 2019