Review: The Forever Question at B Street Theatre

The prospect of having children? Terrifying.

The prospect of having children? Terrifying.

Photo courtesy of rudy meyers photography

Showtimes: Wed 2pm & 6:30pm, Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 5pm & 9pm, Sun 2pm. Through 7/14; $33-$47; B Street Theatre at the Sofia, 2700 Capitol Ave., (916) 443-5300,
Rated 4.0

Last year’s winner of B Street Theatre’s New Comedies Festival is now a full blown two-act show, and until intermission was perhaps one of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen.

Directed by Associate Artistic Director Lyndsay Burch, the play follows Mike (Peter Story) and Carolyn (Dana Brooke), a couple trying to decide whether or not to have a second child. It’s playwright James Christy’s way of examining how becoming a parent involves permanent life changes—and if they’re worth it.

The actors also play several other characters: her mother, his father, his brother and a few more, both stepping aside briefly to don a new hat or scarf or accent. Story and Brooke are masterful in their ability to become new characters with the smallest change of facial expression.

But it’s the very, very funny observations about parents, parenting, sex, childbirth, babies and relationships between men and women that had the audience in stitches. (Mike’s uncomfortable explanation of menstrual periods, for example, is hilarious.)

Sadly, while the second act is funny, the tone becomes darker as it moves our couple through the death of Mike’s father, frustrating teenagers and the prospect of growing old together. Enjoyable and, yes, funny, but not nearly at the same level of the first act.

The amazing set by Samantha Reno must be seen to be believed. B Street asked for volunteers to donate toys to decorate the stage and the faithful came through in droves. The mountains of toys will be donated to a children’s center at the conclusion of the run of the show.