Review Roundup: Primary Stages' HARBOR
Primary Stages, in association with Ted Snowdon, launches their 29th season with the New York premiere of Harbor at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters. Written by Tony©-nominated Chad Beguelin (Elf, The Wedding Singer) and directed by Tony-nominated director Mark Lamos(Seascape, The Rivals, The Deep Blue Sea), the production features Erin Cummings (Starz's "Spartacus: Blood and Sand", ABC's "Pan Am," CBS' "Made In Jersey"), Randy Harrison (Showtime's "Queer As Folk", Broadway'sWicked), Alexis Molnar (world premiere of Harbor at Westport Playhouse), and Paul Anthony Stewart (Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof, The People in the Picture). Harbor runs through September 8.
When fifteen-year-old Lottie and her ne'er-do-well mother Donna drop in unannounced on the beautiful Sag Harbor home of Donna's brother and his new husband, all hell breaks loose. The bonds between kith and kin are tested in this alternately biting and touching comedy about the constantly shifting nature of the meaning of family. Harbor is from playwright Chad Beguelin, the author/lyricist of Broadway's The Wedding Singer and the lyricist for Elf; andMark Lamos, the director of Primary Stages hits Black Tie, Indian Blood and Buffalo Gal.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld: They only character worthy of any sympathy is Lottie, and Molnar does an excellent job of subtly conveying the sullenly expressed pain of the smartest person in the room who is also the most vulnerable, waiting for the day when she can legally take control of her life. The touching joy she unleashes in a scene where Ted and Kevin throw her a traditional birthday party and she can feel like a real kid for once is matched by heartbreaking work in a scene where a chance to contact her father for the first time doesn't go as she had hoped. Her featured moments are refreshingly real and empathetic in an evening that seems continually stuck in dry dock.
Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News: Director Mark Lamos keeps the show moving briskly, and Beguelin throws and lands witty remarks. The nagging issue is that the dialogue seldom sounds like characters talking, but like a writer's words spilling out of their mouths. That's especially true of Donna. When she declares that Lottie is "wicked smart. She's like, Asian smart," the phrase zings. But as someone who until recently "thought the word 'misogynist' meant someone who gives massages," what's her point of reference? Funny but hollow one-liners muddy this "Harbor."
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