Regional Reviews: St. Louis
Finding the Sun
Also see Richard's review of The Parade
Sam Hack directs both, with an especially solid cast in the Albee piece, centering on a slow-dying love affair between two young men who've since gone on to marry (inadvertently) hilarious young women. All four go uphill and down in their coping skills, toward a peaceful resolution to the husbands' youthful indiscretion (for that is the way the relationship is treated by most on this beach). Jim Driscoll and Rob Gold are the two young men: Mr. Driscoll (as Benjamin) is the pound-puppy, and Mr. Gold (as Daniel), the ornery house-cat. Sigi Gradwohl and Julie Jones are the wives, the first being well-matched with Mr. Driscoll, being humorously down-trodden; and the latter, visually stunning and just as prickly as Mr. Gold.
Nathan Weissler is the quick-to-learn teenager, getting a lot more education than he'd bargained for during a summer by the shore. Jamie Lefkowith is his mother, with a slightly hectic conversational style that plays well against her bemused neighbor in the beach chairs, Beth Hill. She's the long-suffering mother of the willful young Amazon (Ms. Jones), voicing weary exasperation with her daughter's decision to marry someone with an awkward gay relationship, barely receding into the past. With the estimable Bruce Collins as her husband, the whole cast is remarkably adept at delivering the complex and occasionally acrid Albee comedy.
Taken together, Finding the Sun and Williams' The Parade (or, Approaching the End of a Summer) form a remarkable look at the evolution of gay identity on the stage in America, their settings separated by forty years between them. Both continue through April 5, 2009 at the South Campus of Washington University. The space is better known as the former campus of CBC high school, across Clayton Road from the Esquire Theater. For more information call (314) 721-9228 or visit them online at www.placeseveryone.org.