is an attempt to grapple with the processes of grief, after the suicide of an AIDS-afflicted young man, Andy (Robert Seeley), sends a trio of people whose lives he touched through the famous five stages. These people are Andy’s brusque, workaholic female friend, Stephanie (Pamela Donnelly); his lover, Chad (Scott Crawford); and his mother, Pastor Marie (Bonnie Tyler). Marie has formed her own evangelical church, with a chorus of “minions” following her in rabid agreement and with some appealing a cappella backup that’s among the highlights of Christopher Holder’s staging. Debbie Bolsky’s play is carved into five acts, each depicting one of the stages of grief, which is cumbersomely announced and defined at the start of the section. The focus, however, is on Stephanie, while Andy’s ghost hovers with as much difficulty saying goodbye as the rest of them. Bolsky bolsters the abundant psychodrama with riffs of humor, including scenes with a fortuneteller (Mona Lee Wylde) seeking to get a degree in psychology. I found the quirkiness so strained, the characters’ expressions of despondency so self-absorbed and the play’s focus so diffused, I checked out emotionally.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 10. Continues through May 17, 2008

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