Review: Luna Gale

<i>What’s best for a new foster child?</i>

What’s best for a new foster child?

Photo courtesy of Capital Stage

Th F 7pm, Sa 2pm and 8pm, Su 8pm, W 7pm; Through 11/19; $17.50-$40; Capital Stage, 2215 J Street; (916) 995-5464;
Rated 4.0

We never see the title character of Capital Stage’s excellent new production, Luna Gale, the infant who has been rushed to the emergency room by her meth-addicted parents. This grim dramedy, written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Michael Stevenson, is an indictment of the system and how it can fail a child. There are no good guys and bad guys, just people who have Luna’s welfare in mind. But all disagree on what should happen to her. Everyone has their own personal prejudices and histories that shape their views of what’s in the best interest of the baby.

Amy Resnick gives a remarkable performance as Caroline, the compassionate but overworked social worker who decides the baby should be put in the temporary care of her grandmother (Shannon Mahoney) until parents Karlie (Lauren Hirsch) and Peter (Ian Hopps) can get their act together. But as the parents begin to follow the rules, unforeseen problems erupt with grandma, who is determined to adopt the child herself, with strong support from her evangelical pastor (Peter Story). Meanwhile, Caroline’s boss (Aaron Wilton) just wants to put the baby in foster care so she is no longer a drain on the system.

Jezabel Olivares plays the smaller role of Lourdes, one of Caroline’s success stories. She has just graduated from foster care to live on her own. She is Caroline’s shining example of the kind of future Luna might have.

The ultimate solution for Luna is unexpected but hopeful, though given everyone’s history, we wonder if it is as bright as it seems to be.