A Heap of Livin'
In Elliot Schoenman's evocative family drama, Lawrence Pressman plays iconic folk singer "Ramblin'" Harry Roe, whose impeccable, 1960s left-wing credentials include marching with Dr. King, singing with Pete Seeger and protesting at Kent State. Now elderly and frail, sustained mainly by his memories of the good old days, Harry's a crotchety penance to his two long-suffering daughters. Older daughter Pearl (a marvelously brittle Didi Conn) has served daddy like a drudge through his declining years, while younger daughter Eden (Jayne Brook) has fled across the country to avoid having anything to do with her neglectful papa. On the eve of a massive tribute concert set to honor Ramblin' Harry, the sisters confront their varying degrees of resentment and rage. Schoenman's play is functionally a drama about children confronting the role of being caregivers for an increasingly recalcitrant elder, but the piece also thoughtfully encompasses a debate on the regrets of children forced to live in a genius parent's shadow. Although Schoenman's dialogue occasionally veers awkwardly into the realm of soapy melodrama, director Mark L. Taylor's production crackles with heartfelt emotion. Brook's prissy Eden and Conn's rumpled, increasingly bitter Pearl are great turns, but they ultimately orbit Pressman's powerful portrayal of a steely, idealistic artist. Inkwell Theater Company at Odyssey Theater, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, W.L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through March 17. (310) 477-2055, inkwelltheater.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 8. Continues through March 17, 2013
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