Playwright David Session has composed a very dark and tragic play that explores the fragility surrounding life as sickness takes its toll on a cast of characters orbiting a family degrading as matriarch Caroline Connors (Serena Scott Thomas) battles multiple-sclerosis. Caroline anchors a cast who’s frailties reveal themselves ever deeper as her physical condition goes from a haughty successful woman to a frail shell clinging to her pride as her body succumbs to the inevitable. The other fist, husband Kevin (David Sessions), a successful business man, descends into his own journey into darkness making costly and tragic errors as the pressure grinds at the patina that was his once carefree privileged life wastes away. The couple’s children, son Justin (Jacob Osborne) and Rachel (Laura Long) meet their own abysses as the layers of cruel onion peel through the arc of the play. Assumptions of their “ideal” lives fray in an unerring cadence as the family disintegrates and their once invincible immunity vanishes. David succumbs to the moral frailty of an affair that destroys his wife’s lifeline of support in maid Maria (Paula Lafayette) repeatedly taking ill advice from deeply flawed friend Andy Wainwright (Jason Downs) who’s beguiling free spirited nature hides a reviling darkness that haunt’s David’s shoulder. In his vanity, he fails to see the call of family friend Maggie (Lynne Oropeza) to plot a course to rescuing his relationship with his wife nor hear the ethical warnings of Maggie’s husband Robert (Rene Rivera) calling to his soul. Caroline’s own journey of descent is watched over by Dr. Sharon (Robert Bella) who ultimately gives up telling her “there’s nothing more I can do for you”. It’s left to daughter Rachel to be the agent of closure for the couple, tragically so.
When I saw the premise of this play, I wanted to see it very badly. The metaphors called to me to witness a concentrated rendition of snippets of losses that I’ve seen in my own life played out in much slower motion with less dramatic, but no less poignant, emotional impact. It did not disappoint. Within the tragedy, the cast revealed that love, painful love, was a bond that permeated this family even as unspeakable disaster beset their lives. David Sessions and director Jules Aaron capture the truth that life does punch you in the gut with both fists and that how we deal with it inside ourselves is what matters in the end.
I highly recommend seeing this play if you can.
Through March 11, 2018
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm Sundays at 3pm
Odyssey Theatre 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. (866)811–4111.
Originally published at medium.com