Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

Six Years

Also see the recent announcement about Lombardi

Todd Allen Durkin and Margery Lowe
The Caldwell Theatre presents the play Six Years by Sharr White. Six Years begins in 1949 when Phil Granger finally reappears in the small Missouri town he left six years earlier for the horrors of World War II. His wife Meredith is there to meet him, put him back together, and bring him home. In five scenes (each six years apart) spanning twenty-four years of postwar life, the unspoken side of the Greatest Generation is examined as the play chronicles the struggles of Meredith and Phil Granger to survive together through the boom of the 1950s, the hope and unbearable losses of the 1960s, and the resounding search for redemption following the Vietnam war.

From the first sentence of the play, there is a heartwrenching quality in Margery Lowe's performance as Meredith. Even in her more confident and seemingly carefree moments, her character's subtext is filled with an aching emotional loneliness. She masters the playwright's use of self-abortive sentences fraught with the character's anxiety of what to say when so very much is at stake. Todd Allen Durkin as Phil Granger evolves from an emotionally broken man to one who is stronger but still scarred by war experiences. There is an edge to his portrayal that speaks of unpredictability. The couple's tortured relationship is a dark commentary on the war's lasting effects on the human heart.

Scenic designer Tim Bennett admirably represents the style of each new time period with his ever-changing home d├ęcor and color schemes. Transitions between time periods are assisted by news item and pop-culture projections provided by Sean Lawson. While most of the supporting cast is strong, the story rests in the hands of Lowe and Durkin. This powerful story is a somber statement of human nature sadly stripped of any trace of the romance that binds husband to wife. However depressing it may be, as a character study it is endlessly fascinating.

Six Years was originally produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville. In addition to Six Years the works of playwright Sharr White include The Dream Canvas, The Last Orange Dying, Safe From The Future, Heaven and All Things Lovely, Iris Fields, Satellites of the Sun, The Escape Velocity of Savages and Achilles in Sparta. He is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Playwriting Unit in New York, and a company member of Apartment A Productions in Los Angeles. He is a recipient of a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.

Six Years will be appearing at the Caldwell Theatre through September 4, 2011. The Caldwell Theatre Company is a professional theatre company hiring local and non-local Equity and non-Equity actors. The Caldwell Theatre Company is designated by the State of Florida as a Cultural Institution and receives funding from the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, the Florida Arts Council and the Division of Cultural Affairs. The Caldwell Theatre Company is located in the Count De Hoernle Theatre at 7901 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, Florida. For information you may contact them by phone at 561-241-7432 or online at

Meredith Granger: Margery Lowe*
Phil Granger: Todd Allen Durkin*
Jack Muncie: Gregg Weiner*
Peg Muncie: Natasha Sherritt*
Tom Wheaton: David Perez-Ribada*
Dorothy: Betsy Graver*
Michael Granger: Michael Focas

Director: Clive Cholerton
Scenic Design: Tim Bennett
Lighting/Sound Design: Thomas M. Shorrock
Costume Design: Alberto Arroyo
Projections: Sean Lawson
Stage Manager: James Danford*

*Indicates member of the Actor's Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Photo: Tim Bennett

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere