Confesson time. This review is seriously late, which sadly is something of a theme concerning the production and me. Because of circumstances both dull and no one's business, I was also late to the show. So I missed the first of a series of very short plays which made up the evening.
The Awful Grace of God, a little unusually, are all written by the same playwright (Michael Harney) and likewise all directed by one person (Mark Kemble). The result? An anthology with a much more unified "feel" and sense of theme.
Again, I missed the first one. Feel bad about that. Especially since I enjoyed all the others.
"Surrender" stars Tim DeZarn and Janine Venable as an elderly couple with a odd, shared mutual secret. One each does not know about the other, even though it is the same secret--about still seeing and talking to their late son. It doesn't have a plot as we think of it, but rather a gradual reveal of their relationship. As such this avoids a problem with many such very short plays--a lack of wholeness.
"The Long Walk Home" on the other hand works in exactly the opposite way. James Harvey Ward and Amelia Jackson-Gray play a married couple in 1950 New York, on the night and day when a crisis forces a choice. He is a good man, but frustrated and--as we learn--living with the legacy of a drunken, abusive father. Now when he gets drunk, he follows that same road. At last forced to look at himself, he has to make a choice all alone in an empty apartment, suffering through a hangover...
Bottom line--an extraordinary evening of theatre that left me very pleased (and to some extent even changed) at having gotten to experience it.
The Awful Grace of God plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm until Sunday May 28, 2017 at the Other Space Theatre, The Actor's Company 916A North Formosa Avenue, West Hollywood CA 90046.