Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
There's Always the Hudson
Also see Susan's review of The Joy That Carries You and coverage of Carol Burnett Honored with Signature Theatre's Sondheim Award
New Yorkers Lola (played by the author) and T (Justin Weaks) both survived childhood sexual abuse, became friends after meeting in a support group, and are struggling to find and sustain healthy relationships. They had earlier decided that they would strike back at the people who hurt them, then together jump off the George Washington Bridge–but the deadline is this very night.
Director Jess McLeod plays up the artifice of the situation in a way that cushions the seriousness of Lola and T's plight. First, the characters acknowledge that they have demons, then they get down on all fours and howl to release the demons, then they set out to make things right for themselves. Their antagonists include unscrupulous former bosses, people who trash-talk others regarding their mental health and behavior, and ultimately the people who destroyed their childhoods. Similarly, Misha Kachman's scenic design and Barbara Samuels' lighting design create acting spaces in unexpected places, and Tosin Olufolabi's sound design sometimes takes the audience inside the actors' heads.
Lázaro and Weaks give fearless performances as their characters go to extremes, speaking in torrents of profane poetry. Elan Zafir, Migs Govea, and Marilyn Torres play the people in their lives, ranging from a cheerful drug dealer and a hilariously somber support group member to people forced to justify their past behavior.
There's Always the Hudson runs through June 5, 2022, at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW, Washington DC. For tickets and information, please call 202-393-3939 or visit www.woollymammoth.net.
By Paola Lázaro