Saturday, January 19, 2019
Curtain Up Phoenix


An off-kilter wealthy and bizarrely unreal family is moving out of its mansion so they gather to partake in the joys of reconciliation but is it a happy occasion?  One guess in Stray Cat Theatre’s sharply staged and well-acted production of Leah Nanako Winkler’s “Two Mile Hollow.”

The play makes an important statement about superficiality in families that can’t get along and the playwright points out that money doesn’t necessarily create contentment.  The message is disguised under amusing one-liners and dashes of comic mayhem, while the wacky characters create their own crafty but silly fun.  “Two Mile Hollow” is staged with artful humor by Louis Farber and five gifted performers don the wacky personas of these characters to deliver malarkey with delicious comic abandon as they mock rich peoples arrogance.

The family’s patriarch died so the Donnelly clan is headed by snooty socialite Blythe while her three children each bring their own bizarre reality to the clan.  Joshua is a hanger-on who is desperate to connect with a female.  Movie maker Christopher brings his doting assistant Charlotte who is too caring and attentive.  Daughter Mary is all knowing or is she?  As truths display and tales reveal inner thoughts each person becomes more bizarre.  The comedy has insightful but humorous dialogue and the characters spin so far from normal that you can never guess what they will do.

Like any good comedy, a successful production must milk every funny moment and Farber’s staging captures the malarkey using exquisite stage placement while the knowing acting ensemble make the show burst with enjoyment.