Sacramento, CA 95814
This show opens like a domestic comedy, with naughty, impulsive kid sister Izzy (a perfectly cast Katie Rubin) slyly confessing hilarious indiscretions to her staid older sibling Becca (Elisabeth Nunziato), who’s folding children’s clothes.But as the laughs pile up, the play’s actual agenda slowly emerges. Becca’s boxing up the children’s clothes because her 4-year-old son Danny died in an accident eight months earlier. And that aching, awful loss is the elephant in the room—everyone tries to avoid mentioning it.
But decisions must be made, and playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (who got a Pulitzer last year for this script) takes us through e-x-a-c-t-l-y what a family in this horrible situation has to deal with. How do you handle the memories triggered by the stuff—the toys and books? What about the friends, with children the same age, who no longer call? And the marital relationship (no longer focused on the child) that’s now strained to the max?
Nunziato is simply amazing. It’s her best performance in years (equaling her work in Beast On The Moon, back in ‘95). And Kurt Johnson, as the husband, is with her all the way. The expression etched on Johnson’s face silently watching a video of himself and Danny at play—is a wordless study of deep love and unspeakable loss.